- Dental implants are currently the best way to replace missing teeth.
- They do not involve adjacent teeth as do bridges and they feel completely natural.
- Implants may last a lifetime.
- The crowns placed on the implant will last much longer than crowns placed on natural teeth because there will not be tooth decay and the new ceramic materials extremely long lasting.
What is an implant?
An implant is like an artificial root that is placed into bone where a natural tooth once was. It is made of titanium. Titanium is used because of it’s strength and it’s acceptance by the body. After a few months, the implant is firmly attached to the bone and a crown or bridge can be placed.
Why do I need an implant?
Missing teeth used to be replaced with permanent or removable bridges.
“Permanent bridges” are placed by capping teeth on either side of a space with the missing tooth attached in the middle. Often, with a bridge it is necessary to use a healthy or teeth with small fillings.
Removable bridges clip on to several teeth and rest on gum tissue. They move around and sooner or later get loose and need constant adjustment.
Implants only involve the missing tooth or teeth and feel and function just like natural teeth.
How is the procedure done?
A skilled oral surgeon or periodontist will carefully evaluate the area of the desired implant and the adjacent nerves and other vital structures. They will select the implant type and size that is appropriate for the situation. Under local anesthesia, they will place the implant in the bone and then monitor its healing and bone integration over a 3-4 month period. After the healing time, patients will be referred back to Dr. Lee A. Slotkin for the fabrication of a crown or bridge.