A missing tooth is not just embarrassing, it’s a real dental problem. When one tooth is missing the surrounding teeth will naturally drift into the empty space. This shifting increases the risk of a misaligned bite, tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fractures and further tooth loss.
Implants offer a stable and long term solution to replace your tooth and allow you to regain your confidence and smile without the upkeep dental bridges require. At Park Slope Dentistry Seventh Avenue we are equipped with the latest in implant technology. Schedule a consultation today to take the first step in restoring your smile.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is actually a small titanium “screw” that is inserted into your jawbone - you can’t see this once it’s placed except on x-rays. The implant mimics your natural tooth root by holding the abutment and crown (ie your new tooth) into place.
Am I a good candidate for an implant?
We can’t say for sure without meeting you and doing an exam, but in general you will be a good candidate if
You are in good health overall
You have healthy gums
You have enough bone tissue
You are committed to good oral hygiene
How are implants better than bridges and dentures?
In general implants are more durable and secure than bridges and dentures. Bridges require removing tooth structure from the teeth surrounding your missing tooth, and dentures often come loose. Once an implant has been successfully set into your jawbone, it’s not going anywhere and doesn’t rely on your other teeth for stability.
What are the steps to having a dental implant placed?
Implant placements are a multi-step process that require a few visits to our office.
First, you’ll need to come in for a consultation so we can determine if you’re a good candidate for implants. This may require special imaging or at the very least, x-rays and a thorough dental examination.
If we determine you’re a good candidate, the next step (which sometimes can happen at the same appointment) is to administer local anesthesia and carefully place the implant into your jaw.
After the implant is placed, you’ll have to heal for around 4-6 months (everyone’s a little different) to give your gums time to heal and the implant time to integrate into your jawbone. This is the part that is kind of a bummer, but remember, we are limited by biology. Bone takes time to heal, if we try to put a crown on an implant that hasn’t fully healed, it will likely fail and lead to more time lost. Be patient! It’s worth it.
At some point during your healing process, you’ll come in again to have a healing cap placed on your implant. This cap will shape your healing gums to better facilitate receiving your final crown.
Once you’re done healing, you’ll come in again for us to make an impression of the implant, which is used to make your new tooth (technically called a “crown”)
Finally (yes, we’re almost done), if everything is looking perfect, you’ll come in two weeks later for us to place the abutment and crown on the implant, and then you’ll have a brand new tooth to show off!
What foods should I avoid after implant surgery?
You should avoid hard foods like nuts, chips, apples and carrots. Chewing on these could cause pain and possibly reinjure the surgery area, lengthening your healing process.
What are good foods to eat?
You’re going to want to eat soft food like soup, eggs, applesauce and oatmeal. You want to minimize chewing as much as possible.
Does having an implant hurt?
This is another case where everyone is different, but in general, if the implant heals successfully most patients report very minimal post op discomfort.