Permanent and Natural Tooth Replacement
If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, we invite you to discover more about the benefits of dental implants. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about implant dentistry.
We are committed to caring for you in a genial, hospitable atmosphere, and to helping you fulfill your dental goals.
Our practice is founded on the ideal that dental care should be focused entirely on the comfort, safety, and satisfaction of the patient. We are committed to caring for you in a genial, hospitable atmosphere, and to helping you fulfill your dental goals, just as we have helped thousands of other patients.
The human tooth is remarkable. A strong, durable and healthy adult tooth can withstand hundreds of pounds of biting pressure per square inch, hundreds of times a day, without suffering pain or damage. The natural root of the tooth is equally impressive, keeping the tooth attached to the jawbone and stable in the mouth while supplying it with vital nutrients. Unfortunately, while human teeth are a structural marvel, they are not indestructible. Disease, trauma, heredity, and other factors can lead to the loss of teeth and the need for dental restoration.
Modern restorative dentistry has made it possible to replace missing teeth in a variety of effective, aesthetically pleasing ways. However, only one method of restoration replicates the entire structure of a natural tooth, from root to crown. Composed of an artificial tooth root made of titanium and a meticulously crafted replacement tooth, dental implants come closer than any other dental treatment to restoring the strength, stability, security, and beauty of one’s own natural teeth.
There are few prosthetic devices in modern medicine as dependable, versatile, and effective as dental implants. Implants can be used to resolve any number of serious dental problems, from the replacement of a single missing tooth to the restoration of an entire set of teeth otherwise damaged beyond repair.
Although the technology behind implant dentistry continues to evolve, leading to further refinements in their appearance and durability, the treatment itself is one of the most proven and time-tested in dentistry. In fact dental implantation has a higher success rate than any other implant procedure in medicine. As reliable a technology as dental implants are, a patient’s most important considerations are the qualifications and experience of the dentists they entrust their oral health to.
We encourage patients interested in dental implants to consider the aesthetic and oral health advantages they offer:
–Stable and secure: Unlike traditional, removable dental appliances, dental implants are fixed securely into the bone and remain in place indefinitely. The titanium used in the artificial tooth roots is not recognized as a foreign substance by the body. So bone will grow around it and accept it as an integrated part of the mouth. This gives the restorations attached to the implants a stable base, allowing the patient to speak, chew, and smile with renewed confidence.
–The ability to bite and chew with confidence: Dental implants can withstand far greater biting pressure than removable bridges and dentures. Foods that might be difficult or impossible to eat with other restorations — steak and crunchy fruits and vegetables, for example — can return to the diets of dental implant recipients.
–Teeth that look and feel completely natural: Replacement teeth are crafted to the most exacting standards so that the crowns, bridges, and dentures attached to dental implants look, feel, and function exactly like natural teeth.
–Durable and long lasting: For anyone in search of a long-term solution to missing teeth, dental implants represent a superior choice. They require no special care beyond a daily oral hygiene regimen and regular dental appointments. Cared for properly, dental implants can last for decades.
For many patients who receive implants, the tangible benefits are accompanied by more personal benefits, such as increased self-confidence and poise, a greater willingness to smile, and an overall improved outlook on life.
By any measure, there are relatively few disadvantages to implant dentistry. But dental implant treatment does cost more than traditional dental appliances, and requires more time to implement. This is because the bone supporting the implants needs time to heal before restorations can be attached. So this is not an ideal treatment for anyone seeking immediate results. Furthermore, suitable dental implant candidates must be in generally good health and have sufficient bone to support the implants. Fortunately, many patients without sufficient bone have the option to undergo bone grafting, a procedure in which the jawbone is surgically restored to the density required of dental implants. There is, ultimately, a slight chance that the dental implants will fail. But this risk is extremely minimal when the implant procedure is handled by competent, experienced dental professionals. Over the long term, dental implants are almost always the best way to restore missing teeth.
The success of dental implants depends on the amount of bone present to support them. Without sufficient bone, implants would lack the strong, solid foundation they need to remain firmly in place. It is ultimately this stability that distinguishes dental implants from other methods of restoration.
Fortunately, bone grafting enables patients, who might otherwise be unable to receive dental implants, to become suitable candidates for the treatment. Bone grafting can be used to increase the width or height of bone, as well as to regenerate new bone in areas where, due to injury, tooth loss, disease, or genetics, there is a void in the bone. It can even be used as a preventive measure, reinforcing the bone following the extraction of a tooth. This is a particularly useful technique if the tooth extraction is being performed in preparation for dental implants.
Bone Grafting Techniques
There are several effective grafting techniques, the most common is guided bone regeneration. Through this technique, donor bone is grafted onto the treatment site and covered by a biologically compatible membrane. The donor bone not only replaces missing bone, but also promotes the natural growth of new bone. The membrane that covers the treatment area allows this new bone growth to occur without interference from surrounding oral tissues, such as gum tissue. The bone to be grafted may also be harvested from the implant recipient’s body, or may derive from an animal, synthetic, or posthumous human source. The rate of success for implant dentistry is nearly as high for patients who undergo bone grafting as for those who have sufficient natural bone.
Generally, bone grafting will add about four to six months to the dental implant procedure. An investment of time that ensures the success of implantation.
Patients considering dental implants first attend a thorough and informative implant consultation at our office with Dr. Knop, Dr. Ilyabayev or Dr Gelfand. It’s very important that patients are fully informed about any procedures they are considering. The more you know, the more comfortable and confident you will feel about your treatment decision.
The actual implantation of the titanium tooth root is a highly delicate surgical procedure. After administering anesthesia to the patient, an incision is made in the gum, exposing the bone. The titanium root is then placed into the jaw, and the incision is sutured closed. The length of the procedure will depend largely on how many dental implants are being placed and the health of the patient’s mouth. If there is not sufficient bone to support the implants, bone grafting will have to be performed before the implants can be placed.
Once the dental implants have been placed, the bone and other supportive tissue needs time to heal around them. This healing process, known as osseointegration, generally requires between three and six months, but it is critical to the process. So while the implants are fusing, patients are fitted with temporary dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures, depending on how many teeth are being replaced.
After the dental implants have fully integrated, our dentists can affix beautifully crafted, completely customized replacements to the implant posts. Because these new teeth will be rooted beneath the gum line, they represent the most natural looking dental restoration possible. At this point, patients leave our office with vibrant, healthy smiles that are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing.
For those patients who are missing all of their teeth and wish to replace them with something more secure and stable than removable dentures, Gentle Dental is pleased to offer the option of implant-supported overdentures. These resilient, natural looking dentures simply snap onto implant posts so that both the upper and lower dentures are completely stable, restoring the control and chewing ability afforded by healthy natural teeth. Furthermore, in many cases, we are able to secure overdentures with “mini” dental implants, so called because the titanium screws are a mere 1.8 millimeters in diameter and between 10 and 18 millimeters long.
Unlike traditional dental implants, the placement of mini dental implants does not require extensive oral surgery. Indeed, the small size of the implants allows our dentists to insert them directly through the gum. As a result, there is no need for an osseointegration period, and the overdentures can be snapped onto the implants immediately. A complete set of dentures can be secured by a mere four implants, each carefully and gently placed into the upper or lower jaw. Although a period of adjustment is necessary for most patients, these exceptionally durable overdentures fit comfortably, restore beauty to the mouth, and allow wearers to resume normal function immediately.
If you are missing most or all of your natural teeth, regardless of whether you currently wear removable dentures, you may be an ideal candidate for implant-supported overdentures.