Advantages of Implants
- Easy to place in mouth
- 99% success rate in lower jaw, 97% success rate in the upper jaw (bone is less dense)
- Adjoining teeth are not touched.
- Implants maintain bone from resorbing after extractions
- Cost-effective when factoring in their longevity. The implant, abutment (with screw) can last a lifetime with proper home care and biannual visits to the dentist. The crown can last 10-15 years depending on home care and oral habits like grinding (bruxism) and trauma
- Eliminate sunken look in the face as one ages
- Easy to clean and floss
- Can be used with single crowns, fixed bridges, and removable dentures. Thus providing a myriad of options in restoring one’s smile
The Dental Implant Procedure
In general, replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant consists of two phases. Before we discuss the phases certain preliminary and very important records must be taken.
Our doctors will spend time during your consultation to get to know you, listen to your expectations, and explain what modern dentistry can offer you. We will take a detailed medical and dental history. We will take radiographs (including a panorex) of your upper and lower jaws. When indicated we will use a special type of x-ray machine called dental cone beam computed tomography (CT). This technology allows our doctors to construct a 3-D image of your teeth, soft tissues, and nerve pathways, thus ensuring a guided, accurate, and safe approach to the actual placement of the implant. Additionally, the days of annoying alginate tray impressions are gone, no more gagging! Our office uses cutting edge intraoral scanners (a small wand) to create the study models of your teeth.
Phase 1: Surgical Phase
Our highly trained dental implant specialist performs the surgical phase of dental implant placement. During this phase, the artificial root is gently torqued (implanted) into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth’s natural root. These procedures are performed using local anesthetic (lidocaine); Nitrous oxide is also available. As we wait for the osseointegration to take place (3 months) we will provide a functional and esthetic temporary for our patients to enjoy. No one leaves our office without teeth.
For patients with insufficient bone structure who cannot support the implant immediately, we may recommend a bone graft to augment the bone. This graft can be placed at the time of extraction or when the implant is inserted. Patients experience very little discomfort from this procedure; many go back to work the very next day. About an hour after surgery the patient may remove the gauze pads that have been placed in the mouth. At this time our patients are allowed to eat. We ask that they eat soft foods, avoid hot drinks, and do not drink from a straw for twenty-four hours following surgery.
Patients often ask about sleeping; it is advantageous to their recovery to have their head elevated. By keeping the head elevated for 72 hours following surgery, blood flow to the surgical site is diminished thus preventing unwanted post-operative bleeding, pain, and swelling. We instruct our patients to apply ice (cold) to the site; ten minutes on, ten minutes off for the first day. Frozen green peas in a plastic bag is a comfortable way to ice the surgical site.
To control any discomfort following the implant placement (usually very minor) we will recommend analgesic medications such as Tylenol extra strength, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve).
To increase a comfortable, complete, and quick recovery we ask our patients to simply take it easy for a few days (no gym). Rest is a great healer. Patients can go back to work the very next day.
In our office, the implants are placed in the bone and then the gingival tissue (gum) is placed over and sutured into place. This procedure protects the implant and hastens the integration of the bone around the implant. Usually after three months of healing our surgeon will uncover (deroof) the gum tissue over the secure tight implant. This procedure is done under local anesthetic and takes about fifteen minutes.
Our office will be in contact with you to ensure that you are doing well. About seven days later you will come back to the office for a post-op visit with your surgeon.
When placing our implants our highly trained surgeons are looking at several factors. They are looking to see that there is enough initial bone in the area to hold the implant properly. They must look at width, height, and depth. They must make sure that anatomically there are no nerves or blood vessels near the implant site. They review very carefully the patient’s medical history. Heavy smoking, drinking, diabetes, comorbidities, and medications must be considered. Additionally, they confer with the restorative dentist to ascertain the best placement to affect the most cosmetic result relative to the surrounding teeth and harmonious gingival (gum) curtain.
This collaboration is not to be taken for granted. It is a tremendous advantage to our patients to have this coordinated care under one roof.
Phase 2: Restorative Phase
After a few months, the implant will be ready for phase two — the restorative phase. During your appointment, an implant abutment will be torqued (screwed) to the implant. What is occurring here is that the implant (the titanium root) has now grown into the jaw bone; it’s relationship to the bone is very tight and secure. To this man-made root, we insert an abutment, which is a post that screws into the implant. This abutment is the infrastructure that will support the beautiful porcelain prosthesis (crown, bridge). To make a 3D model of the abutment a 3D scan, done with a wand ( no messy impressions are needed) will allow our lab to custom fabricate your implant crown, bridge, or denture. Once the final prosthesis is ready, it will be inserted and adjusted for a realistic and comfortable fit. Phase two is completed in a matter of a few days, no anesthesia is required. It’s actually fun.
Utilization of Dental Implants
- Replace single missing tooth. This is the easiest and most simplistic use of implants. The implant is placed, without having to touch (grind) teeth on either side of the space. Osseous integration occurs and then the abutment and crown are placed.
- Implant-supported fixed bridge. When a group of teeth is missing, the dentist can place implants on both sides of the space. A beautiful Zirconia fixed bridge is placed over the abutments of the implants restoring the implants and the missing teeth. The missing teeth between the abutment crown are called pontics. An example would be that two implants can support four missing teeth. This fixed (permanent) prosthesis becomes part of your body. It never comes out. The pontics are very inexpensive. This prosthesis is very cost-effective
- Implant-supported removable denture. Also known as “All on Four”. In this case, the patient is missing all of his teeth in an arch. By placing four implants strategically in the edentulous jaw a removable denture is constructed that literally snaps onto the abutments of the implants. This is a brilliant restoration that restores 14 teeth and at the same time allows the cosmetic dentist to restore the missing bone, facial contour, and confidence. The results are dramatic and very much appreciated by our patients. In the past, Full Upper Dentures had to cover the entire palate to get stability. Patients complained of loss of taste and smell. With implant-supported dentures (in many cases) the palate coverage can be eliminated giving the patient a sense of normalcy and personal fulfillment.
Closing the Gap During the Healing Process
For patients who have to heal between phase one and phase two, we provide several options that can fill in for the temporarily missing tooth, including a:
- Removable flipper: This is a removable acrylic device constructed in our office by our on-site master technician. The flipper is placed immediately after surgery. It immediately restores the cosmetic of the missing tooth and at the same time aids in stopping bleeding and promoting healing with natural gingival contours
- Bonded fake tooth: When one tooth is missing in the anterior region of the mouth, on occasion we can bond the missing tooth between the two teeth adjoining the space with a composite resin. This restoration is fixed, does not come out until the dentist places the final restoration
- Removable denture if multiple teeth are missing: After surgery, certain patients no longer have any teeth left in their jaw. In an effort to maintain dignity, esthetics, and function our office will construct before the surgery a removable prosthesis known as a denture that will be placed in the mouth immediately following the extractions and implant placement. This device is made in our office, on-site, by our master technician.
- Essex Retainer: This is a cool appliance that is used to replace missing teeth in the front of the mouth. Impressions are made prior to surgery, a plastic tray is constructed with the missing tooth included in the tray (shade will match existing teeth), Following surgery, the tray will snap over the remaining teeth and at the same time replace the missing teeth. This device is esthetic, comfortable, and unobtrusive, allowing people to speak clearly.
Depending on the health of your underlying bone structure, you may be able to have your implant procedure done the same day as your teeth extraction. Talk to our dental implant specialist to determine whether you are a candidate for same-day dental implant placement. Missing anterior teeth are great candidates for same-day implant placement, in general, posterior teeth are not.
Dental implants are the best way to restore missing teeth. They are a fixed, permanent way of restoring one’s beautiful smile along with optimum function. They are easy to place and a delight to restore. There must be a close professional relationship between the Implantologist (surgeon) and the restorative dentist (cosmetic prosthodontist). 172 NYC Dental allows this important relationship to flourish to afford the most optimal results for our patients.
Cost of Dental Implants at 172 NYC Dental
The total cost of dental implant surgery and restoration varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors. Our experienced team can assist you in obtaining all the necessary information to determine whether your dental insurance will offer any coverage for treatment. We can also provide in-office interest-free payment plans.
Learn More About Getting Dental Implants at Our New York City Practice
If you have missing teeth and would like to improve the overall appearance of your smile, dental implants may be your best option. Schedule your consultation at 172 NYC Dental to learn how we can help you achieve your dream smile.