Call:518-966-5323
Cosmetic Procedures
Dental Implants

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide the foundation for replacement teeth, which look, feel and function like natural teeth.  The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and facial contours will be preserved.  Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life.  When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Reasons for dental implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
  • Restore a patient’s confident smile.
  • Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues.
  • Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

What are dental implants?

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing.  The metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes.  The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the teeth.  This bonding process is called osseointegration.  Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gum.  These posts provide stable anchors for the artificial replacement teeth or (prosthetics).

A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic attaches to its own implant.  A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require two or three implants.  A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw.  The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball-in-socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent solution and removable only by a dentist.

Implants are typically a team effort between an oral surgeon and a restorative dentist.  The oral surgeon performs the actual implant surgery, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, while the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis.  Your dentist will also make you any temporary prosthesis during the implant process.

What does getting dental implants involve?

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures.  First, the implants are placed within your jawbone.  For the first six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gum gradually bonding with the jawbone.  You should be able to wear dentures and eat soft diet during this time period.  At the same time, you’re forming new teeth.

After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins.  The oral surgeon will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth.  These posts protrude through the gums.  When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen.  The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months.  Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.    

Recent advances in dental implant technology have enabled oral surgeons to place single-stage implants.  These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks healing time before artificial teeth (prosthesis) can be placed.  There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.  Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit.  This procedure is called “immediate loading”.  This type of procedure simplifies and reduces the surgical processes. 

Interested in Learning More?

SINGLE TOOTH MISSING

Benefits of an all-ceramic crown on implant:
When both the tooth and root are damaged, the best permanent replacement is a dental implant in conjunction with a ceramic crown. This solution both looks and functions just like a natural tooth.

In this case, a so-called one-piece implant is used. This means that all components are installed as a single unit, resulting in immediately full functioning teeth, shorter treatment time and minimized pain.

  • Immediately functioning teeth
  • Excellent esthetic result
  • Life long, stable solution

Treatment:
This procedure normally includes four visits to the dentist. You should expect to be able to work the day after having the implant installed.

COURSE OF TREATMENT

INSTALLING THE NEW TOOTH – STEP-BY-STEP

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

   
1: Before the procedure
The dentist makes a first examination and takes one or more x-rays of the area to prepare for the procedure.
2: Installing the implant
The implant is installed. At this time, a temporary tooth is provided that allows you eat and function like normal almost immediately.  The implant will need a few months to integrate with the jawbone before the next step is taken.

   
3: Attaching the new crown
The final step is the placement of the permanent ceramic tooth. The new tooth is installed for life. No additional treatment is needed.  
4: End result
You should expect the new tooth to fit and function just like a natural tooth. Do your usual dental hygiene to keep the tooth and gum around it clean and 


 
ALTERNATIVES TO AN ALL-CERAMIC CROWN ON IMPLANT

  Tooth-supported fixed bridge
A traditional bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth to support the bridge. It is a stable solution with good esthetics and function that is fairly easy to install. However, this alternative has two main disadvantages: continuous bone resorbtion in the edentulous area, and sacrificing healthy teeth on behalf of the bridge.
  Removable partial denture
This is not a permanent alternative to a lost tooth. It is unstable and loosely attached, which affects both function and comfort. A removable partial denture is made of plastic – a material that can't create the same esthetic result as a ceramic crown. The benefits are few but do exist: adjacent teeth aren't affected. It is easily and quickly installed and relatively cheap. 
  Resin-bonded bridge
This alternative has some clear advantages: it is quickly installed, functions well and, since it is made of ceramic, it gives a high esthetic result. Moreover, natural healthy teeth aren't affected. But it is not very permanent. The resin-bonded bridge will eventually come off – probably after just a couple of years – and will then have to be reinstalled.


SEVERAL TEETH MISSING

Benefits with fixed bridge on implants:
In this case, when replacing three teeth in the far back of the mouth, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the only fixed alternative. Traditional dentures can't offer the same stability or function.
 

Having dental implants replacing your lost back teeth will give you  new, unparalleled strength and stability that allows you to eat what you want. It will also preserve your jawbone and facial appearance.

  • The only fixed alternative in this situation.
  • A stable, secure solution that lets you eat what you want
  • Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss

Treatment:
After the initial examination, you can expect 4-5 additional visits until the final fixed bridge is permanently attached. It is normal to experience some minor bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissue afterwards. Any discomfort is usually treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

COURSE OF TREATMENT

INSTALLING THE FIXED BRIDGE– STEP-BY-STEP

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

   
1: Before the procedure
Three teeth at back end of the mouth are missing. The only real replacement alternative is installing a fixed bridge. The bridge contains all teeth in one piece and is anchored on dental implants.
2: Installing the implant
First, the implants are installed. This is normally done in a single session. A temporary bridge may be placed at the same time, making it possible for you to function like normal almost immediately after leaving the dentist.

   
3: Attaching the bridge
The implants need to integrate with the jawbone before the permanent bridge is attached. This is normally done 1-2 months after the implant installation. The time will vary, depending on the teeth affected and the esthetical demands.
4: End result
The new bridge will handle all the pressure that your strong, natural back teeth did. You will have a stable and secure solution that allows you to eat what you want.


ALTERNATIVES TO FIXED BRIDGE

  Removable partial denture
This alternative is often perceived as uncomfortable and a bit complicated to use. Function can’t be compared to that of a bridge. This denture is made of plastic and metal, which affects its look. It is quite expensive to fabricate due to its many parts. However, the installation process is simple, and natural teeth are spared.

ALL TEETH MISSING

Benefits of a fixed bridge on implants
When all teeth are missing or in such condition that they need to be replaced, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the best permanent solution

Before dental implants, there were no fixed solution available for people who lost all their teeth. Today, it is possible to replace a full jaw with dental implants and a fixed bridge that results in a permanent, stable and high esthetic solution.

  • Lets you eat and function like having natural teeth
  • A solid, stable solution that will serve you for life
  • Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss 

Treatment:
The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the specific conditions. But all in all, 8-10 visits should be enough to have a fixed bridge installed. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated.

COURSE OF TREATMENT

INSTALLING THE FIXED BRIDGE– STEP-BY-STEP

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

   
1: Before the procedure
The dentist determines what needs to be done and prepares both himself and the patient for the coming treatment procedure.
2: Installing the implants
The first step is installing dental implants to replace the lost tooth roots. In this case, five implants are used. Temporary teeth are attached that enable you to eat and function like normal while waiting for the permanent bridge to be installed.

   
3: Attaching the bridge
The final bridge is securely installed on top of the implants. With a full jaw replacement like this, it normally takes 2-3 visits to have the bridge completely attached.
4: End result
Your new teeth should be hard to tell from natural – both for you and others. People who have had traditional dentures before getting a fixed bridge often describe this as an overwhelming and very positive experience.


ALTERNATIVES TO A FIXED BRIDGE

  An alternative to a fixed bridge is a removable overdenture, which is anchored on implants. The old fashioned denture has many disadvantages and should be avoided if possible.
  Removable, implant anchored overdenture
A removable full denture that is connected to either a ball or bar attachment, which in turn is anchored on two or more implants in the front part of the jaw.

The implants help keep the denture in place and provide better function and comfort. Cost is usually the reason why this solution is chosen over a fixed bridge – although the end result can’t be compared.
  Removable full denture
A denture that is loosely placed on top of the gum to cover the lost teeth. This alternative has no real advantages – except for its low price and easy installation.

The disadvantages are many: discomfort in eating, poor esthetics, affected speech, and sore gums from denture movement. Moreover, a full denture placed in the upper jaw severely reduces the sense of taste.


ACCESSIBILITY