- Long Island City, NY
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants look very similar to titanium screws except that they are medical grade. They get implanted into the bone and permanently stay there. Dental implants are a replacement for teeth unlike dentures, which aren't.
If you are worried about the compatibility of implants, worry not because titanium is a very bio compatible material for the mouth. Knee replacements and hip replacements are all made of titanium!
History of dental implants
Researchers have been trying solve the problem of replacing a missing tooth for centuries. As you may know, the solutions prior to implants were basically:
Removable dentures but you know them as just dentures.
Fixed partial dentures, short for FPD or more commonly known as tooth bridges.
There were two main issues with these 1) They weren't very aesthetically pleasing at all 2) They had retention problems, meaning sometimes they don't want to stay in the mouth. Hollywood loved making movie scenes of dentures falling out of people's mouths during the most inopportune times.
FPD or Tooth bridges
These were basically caps for the teeth and they were better than dentures because they actually stay in the mouth. They get cemented onto the teeth so they don't move around at all. The downside to them was that the bridge needs to be glued onto two adjacent teeth, which means that you would have to drill into the two neighboring teeth to be able to get fitted for a tooth bridge.
That normally wouldn't be a problem but it becomes unfortunate if the two adjacent teeth were virgin, perfectly healthy teeth with no cavity fillings in them!
Its kind of a shame to be sacrificing two teeth that don't have any teeth decay in them.
Regardless, the main reason why dental implants have not been successful previously was because the body kept rejecting them. The implants were initially made of gold, silver, porcelain, and various alloys but the human body identified it as a foreign body and refused to let it integrate with the bone.
It wasn't until 1952 when the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Branemark experimented with a titanium implant on a rabbit's foot. Surprisingly, he was unable to remove the implant because the bone accepted the titanium and integrated with it successfully. Eventually after further studies, he finally implanted a titanium implant into one of his patients in 1965.
That was the first successful titanium dental implant and the rest became history.
Why would I want Dental Implants?
Unlike dentures, you cannot remove implants whenever you want. The implants are either screwed in or glued in so they stay put. Most patients do not like removable options so they opt for implants which are fixed.
Choose implants to restore aesthetics, form, and function! One big plus about dental implants is that you can floss between them. With tooth bridges you are unable to floss through them but they still need to be cleaned. The only way to clean the bridges is with superfloss or floss threaders. That adds an extra cost and extra tool to your oral hygiene armamentarium.
The downside to implants is that the process takes much longer than dentures or tooth bridges. On average to get an implant may take anywhere from 6 months to up to a year. You also need to be a candidate for them. You need enough bone to get implants just like how if there is not enough dirt, you can't plant a tree!
Consequences of not replacing teeth according to our long island city dentists
A whole host of issues start to arise If you do not replace teeth once you remove them.
The teeth will start to drift. That makes for an orthodontic nightmare especially if you ever plan on getting braces or invisalign later. It just makes the entire treatment that much more complicated. In fact, it will most likely extend the treatment time for straigthening out your teeth.
Missing teeth will also decrease your quality of life since you won't be able to chew as well. You definitely won't be able to eat the kind of foods that you use to.
Missing teeth also affect speech and appearances as well. We tend to forget that the teeth hold out our lips and cheeks. Have you ever seen someone with their dentures in and without their dentures? When they don't even have fake teeth in, their face just collapses.
Last but not least, if you lose one tooth, the opposing or opposite tooth starts to drift down. This is because the top teeth hold the bottom teeth down and the bottom teeth hold the top teeth up. If you do not replace the missing tooth, you eventually end up losing the opposing tooth. So in essence, once you lose one, you will lose a second one later on. Its similar to a buy one get one free deal, except this is the deal that you don't want to take.
What do your dentists in long island city offer at 1311 Jackson Ave Dental?
Our Long Island City dentists will restore implants on the premise, meaning that we put the implant crown on for you. For implant placement, we've partnered up with a few implant specialists so we will be referring you to them. We've known our implant specialist for about 10 years now so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. We wouldn't send you to someone that we wouldn't send our family to. So once you get the implant placed you would return to us for us to put that implant crown on!
Just to be clear, the entire process will go like this:
We give you a referral to see the oral surgeon
Your first appointment with them will most likely be a consultation, where they walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
If you need a tooth removed, they will most like extract the tooth and then bone graft the the tooth socket.
Then you wait about four months for it to heal.
You return to them to have a titanium dental implant placed.
That gets left to heal for another four months.
You return to them for the second stage surgery, where they put a healing abutment on.
Now you return to one of our long island city dentists to have the implant restored.
The process to get the implant crown on will go like this:
We remove the healing cap on the implant.
Then we place an impression coping on the implant and we take a mold of your teeth along with the implant.
Now we send molds and models to the dental lab, which makes the crown.
Once the implant crown returns, we try it in to see if it fits.
If it fits, we screw everything in and torque it.
Now you can go on and eat whatever you want! But do stay away from extremely hard foods because that will break virgin teeth as well.