Dental Implants in Buffalo, NY
Todd Shatkin DDS is an experienced Buffalo dentist providing affordable dental implants to patients throughout Western New York for over 30 years. Contact Aesthetic Associates Centre today to arrange your free consultation and learn if dental implants are right for you.
In cases where you are missing a tooth or have decaying and broken teeth that need removal, traditional options used to be a bridge, a crown, or dentures to give you back your smile. However, now you have a much more permanent option with dental implants. Dental implants provide a natural and permanent solution to tooth loss while helping to maintain your jaw structure and natural smile.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent dental appliance used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple teeth. They consist of three main parts. The first part is a titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone and allowed to fuse together with the bone. Once the screw and bone fuse and heal, the second part, or abutment, is connected to the screw. The third piece, a natural tooth-like crown made to match your other teeth, is attached to the abutment.
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In cases where multiple teeth are missing and your choice used to be a denture, implants with as little as four titanium posts can replace a full set of teeth. This dental implant then becomes a permanent replacement, giving you back your smile. Unlike crowns or dentures that need replacing or can move around in your mouth, dental implants replace missing teeth and can last for years and years.
When to Consider Dental Implants
Dental implants are an option for any adult looking to replace a missing or broken tooth or a full set of teeth. While they can be an option for teenagers, they are not recommended until full facial growth and development is complete.
When Dental Implants are Not Considered
While dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth, there are cases where they are not recommended. Dental implants are not available for young children as their jaw and dental structure is still developing. If you have inadequate bone structure in the jaw, this could also be a limiting factor, as is severe periodontal disease. When considering dental implants, you must take into consideration the need for the titanium screw to heal and fuse with the bone. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as smoking, can hinder the healing process as well as the ability for the screw to fuse, reducing the chance of a successful implant. In these cases, your dentist may recommend against an implant.
What Happens During a Dental Implant Procedure?
The first step for a dental implant is a consultation with an oral surgeon. At this appointment, you will undergo x-rays or 3D imaging that allow the surgeon to evaluate your jaw health and the ability to maintain a stable implant. Surgery will be scheduled, and they will discuss anesthesia with you. If necessary, they will remove a broken or damaged tooth.
On the day of surgery, once you are sedated, the surgeon will make a small incision into the gum to expose the jaw bone. A hole is drilled into the bone and the titanium screw is put into place. At this point, this part of the procedure is complete, and you are sent home to heal. The healing process can take several months. Once healed and the screw has fused to the bone, you will return to the office and the surgeon will attach the abutment and crown, completing the dental implant.
Are There Any Risks with Dental Implants?
As with any dental procedure, you can expect to have some facial swelling, gum irritation, bruising of the face and gums, minor bleeding, and pain after the dental implant procedure. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medications to help. In addition, you may receive a prescription for antibiotics to combat any potential infection. Other minor risks that can occur include minor nerve damage, blood vessel damage, and possible sinus complications with upper dental implants.
Dental Implants and Bone Loss
Earlier we mentioned bone loss as a possible factor limiting the possibility of dental implants. If your surgeon determines that your current jaw bone will not support a dental implant, there are ways around this. Currently, three different techniques can be used: bone augmentation, ridge expansion, and a sinus lift. These techniques work to build and better stabilize the jaw bone, allowing for dental implants.
In addition, bone implants themselves can help avoid bone loss. As you age, lose teeth, or have certain medical conditions, you can experience bone loss. This is common in patients with dentures. Without teeth, the jaw bone tends to shrink. By using dental implants, the fusion of bone to the screw promotes bone growth and you do not experience traditional bone loss. Dental implants actually help you maintain your natural jaw bone structure.
Why Choose Implants Over Other Options?
Unlike dentures and bridges that must be replaced every few years, dental implants offer a more permanent solution. In addition, the fusion of the implants with the bone help you maintain your natural bone structure, keeping your smile relatively close to what it was before tooth loss.
If you would like to see how dental implants can make a difference in your life and your smile, give our office a call today to set up an initial consultation and meet with the oral surgeons.
If you would like to learn more about how implants can help boost your confidence, function, and give you the smile of your dreams, contact Todd Shatkin DDS at the Aesthetic Associates Centre to arrange your free consultation. Let his 30+ years of experience in cosmetic dentistry work for you!
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