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Patient Education

Dental Implants

Dental Implants & Crowns in Montville, Morris County, NJ & North Jersey

 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are one of several options for replacing missing teeth. They are, generally speaking, titanium screws that are implanted into the bone. After a healing period, a prosthetic component, which may be a crown, bridge, or even denture, is made and attached to the implant. Dental implants are widely regarded as the most natural option for replacing missing teeth since they do not require preparation of any additional teeth and function very similarly to your natural teeth.

kcdc dental implant
Implant and components side by side with a natural tooth.
dental crowns and implants in montville nj
Cross-sectional view (inside the bone) of an implant.

Why is an implant the best choice?

Generally speaking, there are 3 options to replace a missing tooth: an implant, a fixed bridge, or a removable partial. A removable partial is usually the least desirable because it must be taken out each night and is noticeable as it covers other parts of your mouth. A fixed bridge is often a more comfortable option than a removable partial because it stays in place; however, it requires the preparation (grinding down) of the neighboring teeth, which otherwise may not require any work done. While a bridge may feel natural when chewing, you are unable to floss between the interconnected parts and need to use other helpful instruments to clean underneath the bridge. Additionally, if either of the teeth supporting the bridge begins to fail, the entire bridge will need to be replaced. If either of these teeth is lost, an additional potentially good tooth (or two) will need to be ground down for adequate support of a new bridge. For these reasons, an implant is most conservative with respect to the other teeth, while also maintaining bone in the area of the missing tooth, unlike a bridge.

dental crowns and implants in montville nj
Comparative view of an implant vs. a 3-unit fixed bridge.

What can you expect during the process?

There are generally two scenarios which would call for an implant: either an already missing tooth (or teeth) or a tooth requiring extraction. Regardless of which situation you are facing, we will take a 3-D cone beam X-ray to fully evaluate the amount of bone and location of other anatomic structures that we need to avoid. If a tooth needs to be extracted, the amount and quality of bone, in addition to the extent of any infection present, will determine whether an implant can be placed immediately at the time of extraction. If this is not possible, a bone graft will be placed at the extraction site to help guide the healing process and maximize the amount of available bone for implant placement. After a healing period of approximately 4 months or in the case of an already missing tooth with adequate bone, an implant will be placed. In most cases, implants are not restored immediately, as they require 2-4 months to become integrated into the bone. Once the integration process is completed, a crown (in the case of a single implant) is made and attached to the implant.

dental crowns and implants in montville nj dental crowns and implants in montville nj
When grafting is necessary, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with graft material.
dental crowns and implants in montville nj dental crowns and implants in montville nj
After 3-4 months, the site is fully healed with new bone and ready for implant placement.

What about the missing space during the process?

Even though this process normally takes less than one year, it is important to address the missing space that is being restored. This rationale follows suit with one of the main reasons that restoring missing spaces with implants is recommended. When a tooth is lost, the teeth on either side or in the opposite arch may begin to shift towards the open space. By temporarily restoring this space, this shifting is prevented until a final restoration is in place. There are three basic options: a flipper (acrylic partial), an Essix appliance (clear tray), or a temporary implant crown. It is important to remember that the purpose of any of these options is to maintain the space, NOT to chew!

dental crowns and implants in montville nj dental crowns and implants in montville nj dental crowns and implants in montville nj
The outlines of the teeth represent the shifting that may occur when a tooth is missing or during the healing phase of treatment.

How do we work differently than other dentists?

When we take our 3-D cone beam X-ray, we use it for much more than simply evaluating and diagnosing. By coordinating with our CEREC CAD/CAM equipment, we can plan and import the future crown into your 3-D X-ray. This combination of data allows us to plan your implant in the most favorable position with regard to the future crown while respecting any other anatomical structures in the area. A surgical guide is then made to ensure that the implant is placed EXACTLY where planned. Our goal is to take any guesswork out of this process, providing you with faster, more comfortable surgery and more predictable results.

dental crowns and implants in montville nj
A CAD/CAM or optical impression of the teeth is superimposed over the 3-D X-ray.
dental crowns and implants in montville nj
The future crown is planned (in red) and used to determine the most ideal angulation for the implant.
dental crowns and implants in montville nj
A view from the 3-D X-ray showing the proposed implant position.
dental crowns and implants in montville nj
Post-op X-ray confirming implant placement exactly as planned.

Are all implants created equal?

NO! There are various features of every dental implant that impact their overall survival and patient satisfaction. We feel strongly that the best implant will yield the best result, which is why we exclusively place Straumann Roxolid implants. These implants are actually a titanium-zirconium alloy, which makes them the strongest implant on the market. Additionally, their leading surface technology promotes faster integration, thus shortening overall treatment times.

dental crowns and implants in montville nj

Are implants right for you?

Let us decide together. Call us today for a no-fee consultation in our Montville, NJ office!

 

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