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What is a dental implant? 
 
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used in solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.

Why dental implants?
There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant:

Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.
There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.

Are dental implants successful?
With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual Nobel Biocare dental implants*, and even higher for the bridges they support.

* Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period.

Who places the dental implants?
Your dentist can place your dental implant if he has training in placing implants. If your dentist doesn't then you can be referred out to a dental implantologist 

How much do dental implants cost?
The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you.

Who is a Candidate?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the quantity and quality (qaq) of available bone. As a minimum standard you should have a Cone Beam Cat Scan. A cone beam cat scan is a very low level radiation cat scan specifically designed for hard tissue. We employ a NewTom cone beam which has the lowest radiation output. The next closest is 22.8 times higher. This data comes from the State of NY radiation safety office. This office was one of the first dental practices in the state of NY to have a cone beam in 2005. NewTom invented the cone beam and was the company to get the FDA appoval for this technology. They are the world leader the the field.

Is old age a problem?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.

What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?

The teeth next to the implant will have a normal independent function. The teeth that support the missing tooth of a bridge are stressed. Meaning that a tooth that has been prepped (drilled on) and most importantly doing more work than as a single tooth will be stressed. Whenever a tooth is drilled on, the tooth is stressed. Depending on the pre-drilling condition of the tooth depends how it heals after drilling. Healthy teeth usually resolve to normal within two weeks. Discomfort in a tooth lasting more than two weeks puts it into a guarded condition. Guarded with respect to the need for root canal treatment.  If a supporting tooth for the bridge would fail, the bridge fails. 

Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.

Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.

Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.

How will dental implants affect my life?
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.

Will my new teeth look natural?
When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.

Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.

How much time is required for a dental implant placement?
Today, state-of-the-art guided surgical techniques are convenient alternatives to place dental implants and allow you to have the dental implant placed in a single session using keyhole surgery. This new method has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. Essentially, the case is virtually completed first. Then physically completed before the implants are placed.  The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. This significantly reduces the healing time and the discomfort normally associated with traditional dental implant surgical techniques.

The implant(s) can be placed and restored into function on the same visit or soon thereafter. If the QAQ was not meet the the implant will be left in for three to six months before restoring full function. The conventional healing process can take from three to six months for the implant to integrate with the jawbone. During the healing period, your are given a temporary prosthesis until the permanent crown is put in place.

The procedure chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced and the Quality and Quantity of bone in the implant site(s). These factors will also determine the total number of visits to the dentist throughout the treatment period.

Is the treatment painful?
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Ask your dentist to recommend another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.

How will I feel after the treatment?
It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

How will I care for my dental implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist in six months, or more frequently if so advised.