What are Dental Implants?

Decorative Implant Photo

What are Dental Implants?

Imagine being a waiter, having to smile at the people you meet, and being ashamed to do so. Or, not being able to spend time with your grandson because he’s scared of you. These are real stories, and while they may not directly speak to your life, the fact is that tooth loss has impacted you in similar ways. If it hadn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this website.

Sometimes we lose our teeth in an accident, other times they succumb to gum disease, and in some cases our adult teeth don’t come in at all.

You’re not alone, over half of Americans suffer from missing teeth.

Dental implants are a truly remarkable solution that function and look much like your natural, real teeth. In fact, your friends and family will hardly know the difference.

What are dental implants, how do they work, and what exactly can they do for me? These are the questions we’ll explore today.

What are tooth implants and how do they work?

Missing teeth create gaps in our smile. The problem is not just aesthetic. This raises the risk of dental infection and further tooth loss. Adjacent teeth will also start to drift into the opening, causing the rest of your smile to become crooked and spaced out.

Dental bridges can replace the missing tooth, but require damaging adjacent teeth. Neither do they help with the health problems associated with toothloss.

Dentures suffer from similar disadvantages. They can also start to lose shape over time, making them uncomfortable.

Dental implants:

  • Replace the tooth root, stopping and reversing bone loss in the jaw.
  • Place pressure on adjacent teeth, keeping them straight and in place.
  • Help keep your dental hygiene in tip top shape by removing food traps.

They accomplish all of this thanks to their entirely biocompatible titanium-alloy implant fixture.

The fixture is a post that’s inserted into the jaw, around the area where your natural tooth was lost. It acts like a tooth root in that it helps stimulate the surrounding bone tissue. This process, known as osseointegration, is also why implants are so stable and robust.

Your jawbone will naturally collaborate with the implant, growing bone right up to its surface and holding it tightly in place. That’s why, if you take care of them, implants can last a lifetime.

Once the dental implant has been placed and osseointegration takes place, we add an abutment which will connect the fixture with the crown.

The crown is your new tooth. It’s what you will see once the process has been completed. Made from porcelain, and sometimes from other materials, they’re made to fit your smile, meaning that they will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. It’s honestly amazing how real they took and how hard it is to even tell that you had gone through a tooth implant procedure at all.

Imagine, just for a second, what it feels like to smile and not have to worry about your appearance.

Imagine how refreshing it will be to be proud of your teeth.

I bet you’ll be smiling more often. And you’ll be happier because of it.

How would dental implants benefit me?

Imagine a tooth replacement treatment that is:

  • Long-lasting: well-maintained dental implants can last someone a lifetime.
  • Cost-effective: imagine not having to pay to have the same problem fixed time after time.
  • Natural-looking: your crown will look, feel, and function like a real tooth.
  • Healthy: don’t risk bone loss and bacterial infection — implants will help you combat the many oral health problems associated with tooth loss.
  • Stable: tooth implants will never move around in your mouth or fall out.

To all these benefits you must add your own emotion. How does suffering from tooth loss make you feel now? Transport your mind to six months from now. How will you feel when you smile and you know how stunning your smile is? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

How many teeth can dental implants replace?

When us dentists use the word implant, what we’re really referring to is the fixture that’s embedded along the jaw. The crown is part of the finished product, but that is the crown and the implant is the fixture.

The fixture can support a wide variety of different dental prosthetics.

For example, a single tooth can be replaced with one implant fixture attached to a single crown.

If you are missing multiple adjacent teeth, then one possible solution is to use the implant to support and fasten a dental bridge.

It’s also possible to attach a permanent denture to four to six implants spread along the jaw for patients who are missing a full-arch.

The reason why we use an implant is for the stability, support, and permanence. A denture by itself will tend to lose its shape, which is why they start to move around, irritate the mouth, and fall out. With an implant, that denture will be fastened into place.

Dental implants are extremely flexible, and this is a good thing. It allows them to solve a wide variety of periodontological problems. Meaning your treatment can be customized to a considerable extent, so that you’re getting the best solution and a choice in what you’re paying for.

Come in for a consultation, there’s no obligation, no pressure.

How do you know if you’re a candidate for the treatment? The good news is that we have a resource for you. Check it out and if you are a candidate, I highly recommend you schedule a consultation.

The consultation is completely educational. We will look at the area of the missing tooth and give you a concrete analysis of the issue and what options you have to treat it. It’ll also be an opportunity for you to ask all the questions you want. I lecture on dental implants and I was president of the American Academy of Periodontology, so I highly encourage you to come and pick my brain.

To schedule your appointment, fill out our contact form or call us directly at 212-558-9059.