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Dental Implants in the Digital Dentistry Age

July 07, 2017

What is a Dental Implant?

Tooth Implant

A Dental Implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jaw bone. It replaces the function of the tooth root and, once fused, can be used by your dentist to secure an Implant Crown (Dentistry). The dental implant, along with the abutment and crown, will replace a missing Crown (tooth). When multiple teeth are missing, your dentist can plan for an implant-supported fixed bridge or implant-supported denture, which will not slip or move with function. Your dental implant dentist can determine if you have adequate bone and gums to be a good candidate for implant treatment. Even if you've been told you are not a candidate in the past, it may be a good idea to check again since implant treatment has evolved significantly over the last decade.

Dental Implant Informational Links

Mouth Health: Implants
Colgate: What Are Dental Implants?

Why Replace a Missing Tooth?

When a tooth is missing and not replaced, the adjacent and opposing teeth will drift. As a result your bite may be altered causing malocclusion. Malocclusion, or a poor bite, can affect the health of the remaining teeth and jaw joint and can complicate your oral health care.

What Makes Dental Implants a Better Option Than other Tooth Replacement Solutions?

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, statistics show that nearly 70% of adults aged 35 to 44 years in the United States have at least one missing tooth due to an accident, tooth decay, gum disease, or dental fractures. (Reference: Oral-B: Dental Implants or Dentures)

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that actually maintain healthy jaw bone. When a tooth is extracted or is missing, over time the bone will shrink. This will effect bone supporting adjacent teeth and, when multiple teeth are missing, can change overall facial structure. Dental implants, as opposed to a dental bridge, do not require anchorage onto adjacent teeth, allowing for better cleaning ability and a more natural feeling tooth replacement option.

Whenever adjacent teeth are cut down, there is a risk of sensitivity, increased risk of future dental cavities, and more frequent replacement of the bridge because it spans more than one tooth. While a dental implant may be more costly initially, it requires less frequent replacement than other tooth replacement options. It is best to have a consultation to determine if dental implants are right for you.

3D Imaging: The GOLD Standard

The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology has recommended since 2012 that cross-sectional imaging, like the one that is used at Midtown Dental, be used for all assessments of implant sites. Yet many offices are still using dated 2-dimensional x-rays. There are many anatomical structures such as sinuses and nerve canals that, when violated, can cause serious complications. We minimize these risks by planning every implant to the exact specifications of your jawbone.

3D Imaging Informational Link:

So, an Implant is an Implant... Right?

WRONG. At Midtown Dental we use one of the most researched and successful implant systems. Astra implants have a 98% survival rate and are made in Germany. There are many implant systems out there and, unfortunately, many do not have the research to support their claims.

The Midtown Dental Difference: Digital Implant Planning

After Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is completed, which takes only minutes and is safe and very comfortable, Dr. Apekian will determine the proper size and diameter of implant to be placed. An implant guide may be needed depending on proximity to other anatomical structures, such as the sinuses, nerves, or adjacent teeth.

If a guide is necessary, a CEREC scan of your teeth and gums would be taken. Essentially, a CEREC scan is a 3D digital image that can be used to create a guide that would fit onto your teeth during surgery and ensure accurate placement of your implant both surgically and prosthetically. No more goopy impressions and it only takes a few minutes.

Implant placement would follow in a rigorously sterile and safe environment. We will ensure you are totally comfortable during your procedure. Many patients say that implant placement is one of the easiest dental procedures they have experienced.

3d Imaging Informational Link:

Following the implant placement, your own bone will then integrate around the implant. This integration will take between 3-6 months after which Dr. Apekian will scan the teeth again with CEREC technology to make a custom implant crown. While other offices send their cases to outside labs, Dr. Apekian, herself, designs and fabricates each crown, making them incredibly aesthetic and designing them for better function than the average crown made in dental laboratories. 

You will return for one more visit to install the final crown and abutment. What could easily take 5-10 appointments at another office will typically take less than 4 short appointments at Midtown Dental. We are committed to providing you the best in implant technology.

If you are interested in advanced dental care dental implants to permanently replace an individual tooth, several missing teeth with a dental implant-supported bridge or full upper and lower implant-supported dentures, then give us a call. We have all the answers to your questions about the processes, the insurance and the cost of implant treatment, so please do not hesitate to Contact our Friendly Midtown Dental Office Staff and Dental Implant Specialty Dentist Dr. Jenny Apekian.