If you have missing teeth, you may be considering ways of restoring your smile and the functionality of your teeth. Two of the most common ways are by means of dentures or dental bridges and certainly, they have their advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that they are covered by most dental insurance plans. Dental implants, on the other hand, are not usually covered. However, if you can fit them into your budget, implants are a far better solution. This is because in every respect, implants look and work exactly like your natural teeth. Additionally, while dentures and bridges can lead to loss of bone in your jaw, implants actually encourage bone growth. And if properly cared for, dental implants will last you the rest of your life. Don’t worry, dental implants are great for patients of all ages. Explore the many benefits of dental implants.
Types of Implants
Depending on how many teeth you have missing, you may require single-tooth, multi-tooth, full arch or upper and lower arch implants. Mini implants are frequently used for teeth that are small, like incisors. They are narrower than traditional implants and ideal for patients who need to have pre-molar teeth stabilized.
The implant itself is simply a screw that is made from titanium, which is a very strong metal. It is surgically implanted into your jaw and used to anchor a prosthetic tooth or crown. Often, a single implant can be used to anchor more than one crown.
The procedure itself is painless and done under a local anesthetic. Once the implants are placed, your jaw will need time to heal. Healing can take place in as little as two months, but in some cases may take up to eight. While you are waiting for the healing to take place, Dr. Schlesinger will fit you with temporary prosthetics so that you can enjoy full function and appearance. Then, when the healing is completed, your permanent crowns will be installed and you will be able to enjoy having, in every respect that matters, real teeth.
Suitability for Implants
Generally speaking, if your jaw is in good condition, you are a candidate for implants. If you do have issues, though, perhaps due to gum disease, extractions or injuries, you may still be able to have implants thanks to a procedure called bone grafting. With this process, bone is harvested from other parts of your body, or acquired from a tissue bank and used to restore the damaged areas. Sinus bone grafting replaces bone in the upper jaw. Ridge augmentation is employed when the ridge needs to be increased in width or height and restores bone that has become too thin to accept implants. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure and must be performed under general anesthetic.
Caring for Your Implants
Implants not only look and feel like your natural teeth, you care for them in the same way. Essentially, you still need to brush and floss and see Dr. Schlesinger for checkups on a regular basis.
The only things that can cause implants to fail are the same things that can damage your natural teeth, with the exception of decay. Implants will not decay, but periodontal disease can still harm your gums and compromise your implants. Also, if you grind your teeth, or bite down hard, the crowns that are supported by your implants can be damaged. Trauma to your mouth, can also damage the crowns. Your implants will last long as long as they are taken care of properly.
Dr. William Schlesinger’s office is located at 255 East 70th Street, Suite 1E, New York, NY. You can book an appointment by calling 212-517-5940, or by using the form on our Contact Us page. Dental implants are the ideal alternative to dentures and bridges, if you believe you are a good candidate, contact our dentist today!