Choosing Dental Implants
The gold standard in teeth replacement
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you know how it can impact your life. A missing tooth can be unattractive, as well as affecting how well you can chew and even pronounce certain sounds. Fortunately for us all, modern dental technology is available to replace missing teeth. The most advanced, yet most like your own natural tooth, is a dental implant.
What is implant dentistry?
The use of an artificial tooth root and crown to replace a tooth that has been lost is known as implant dentistry. The procedure was developed after it was discovered that titanium will osseointegrate, or fuse, with a living bone when implanted. When the implant fuses with the natural bone it creates a solid, permanent base for the prosthetic tooth. Compared to other tooth replacement options such as dentures, having implants placed is a much longer process. Having a skilled and experienced dentist can help ensure that the healing time is minimal. If you are looking for a dentist that offers quality implant dentistry in Florham Park, New Jersey, trust Dr. Mark Gleckner.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Not everyone is perfect for this procedure. The long healing times and multiple surgeries required means that patients must be in good health to be considered a candidate for this treatment. If you fall into any of the following categories, talk to your dentist to see if you really are a candidate for the procedure.
- You have poor oral health
- You are pregnant
- You have gum disease
- You do not have enough bone in your jaw
- You are unable to undergo minor surgery
- You are not willing to wait 6 to 9 months for the process
- You have diabetes, cancer, suffer from alcoholism or have had radiation to the jaw or facial region
- You are unable or unwilling to pay for the procedure (implant dentistry is often considered a cosmetic treatment and therefore is sometimes not covered by insurance)
Process of Having Implants Placed
When a candidate undergoes implant dentistry, they must first schedule a consultation with Dr. Gleckner. During this consultation, he will determine whether you are a candidate. Once you are cleared for the procedure, Dr. Gleckner will take any necessary x-rays of your oral structures to help create your customized treatment plan. The x-rays will help determine the areas in your mouth where there is adequate jaw bone to support the implant.
Placement of Implant
Once the placement site within the jaw bone has been determined, Dr. Gleckner will numb the area receiving the implant. Then, the implant is surgically implanted into the bone of the jaw. Several weeks to several months of healing is required for the implant to completely fuse with the bone via the process of osseointegration. Once osseointegration has occurred, the patient comes back to the office to place the abutment.
Placement of the Abutment
After the implant fuses with the jaw bone, Dr. Gleckner will make a small incision in the gum above the implant site. This incision exposes the tip of the implant so that he can attach the “abutment”. This portion of the dental implant is the attachment site for the artificial tooth. Sometimes, Dr. Gleckner can attach the abutment and the crown in the same day to complete the procedure. Other times, however, depending on the amount of healing the patient needs, he will wait until the gum heals and closes around the abutment before he places the crown.
Placement of Crown
Dr. Gleckner will make a mold of the surrounding teeth to create a natural looking and beautiful artificial tooth. Once the crown is completed and the healing has taken place, Dr. Gleckner will attach the custom crown to the abutment to complete the procedure. Although a follow-up appointment is usually advised just to check on the healing progress, placement of the crown is the last step in the implant process.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
When you replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, you replace it for life! Dental implants are completely sturdy and permanent and caring for them requires a bit more care than a regular tooth. Follow these tips to ensure your implants last a lifetime:
- Brush and floss regularly (twice a day, at least)
- Use antibacterial mouth rinses during and after the procedure to get rid of bacteria
- Flossing around the dental implant may require a special flossing tool that will be able to get to tight spaces that regular floss cannot. Talk to your dentist to see if you need additional tools to floss effectively.
- Do not smoke during the procedure. This greatly increases the amount of time needed to heal and can cause complications throughout the procedure. Even smoking after the procedure increases your chance for gum and oral disease and stains the implant.
- Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. During these appointments, your dentist will thoroughly clean around the implant and will monitor your oral health to check for any complications with the implant.
Want more information on dental implants from Smiles By Dr. Mark?
Call our Florham Park, NJ at (973) 377-1174 to learn more.