Dental Implants in Buffalo, NY
Dedicated Buffalo Dentist Providing Affordable Dental Implants
Implants are an alternative to bridges that fill in the space left by a missing tooth, instead of merely masking the gap. Through minor surgery, an implant is screwed into the jawbone, which bonds with the implant’s titanium base in order to simulate the root structure of natural teeth. An implant is perhaps the longest-term solution to missing teeth, as the osseous connection between the base of the implant and the mandible (the lower jaw) or the maxilla (the upper jaw), can be permanent. The bone surrounding the base of the implant can even be strengthened by the implant’s presence, diminishing the effects of conditions such as periodontitis and the bone loss that naturally occurs after dental avulsion.
Dental implants are composed of three parts: a ceramic crown, which is shaped to mirror the surrounding teeth in form and color; a titanium screw, which is designed for implantation into the jaw; and an abutment, which connects the screw to the inside of the crown. Just as the crown is meant to simulate the enamel of a regular tooth, the screw acts as the tooth’s root, firmly attaching the false tooth to the bone.
The implantation process is simple, and though it involves surgery, the operation is minor and rather commonplace. Your dentist will first take an impression of your teeth and your jaw, from which a mold will be made. During the follow-up appointment, after a local anesthetic is administered to the jaw and the gap between the normal teeth, your dentist will drill the screw and the abutment into the space, tightening the screw into the mandible or the maxilla. Once the area has healed, which may take three to six months to occur, your dentist will take another impression in order to determine the ideal shape of the ceramic crown. At last, the crown will be cemented to the top of the abutment, creating a realistic-looking tooth. By this point, the titanium in the screw will have naturally fused with the jawbone, firmly anchoring the implant in place.
Though the prospect of surgery may seem intimidating to potential dental implant candidates, it is important to remember that the success rate of implantation is above 95%, outpacing many other tooth replacement options in effectiveness. In fact, because dental implants are so sturdy, they allow for further dental work to be accomplished. Root canals can still be performed under teeth adjacent to the dental implant, and the implant itself can serve as an adequate anchor for any dental bridges that you wish to have installed, potentially sparing your natural teeth from being shaven to support such a device. Dental implants can also serve as the footholds for dentures; as few as four implants, depending on the health and durability of the jawbone, can accommodate an entire row of either fixed or removable dentures. Dentures have often been placed against the gum line, stretching the comparatively flimsy gums and forcing the jawbone to deossify, or lose bone mass. However, affixing dentures to dental implants instead puts the majority of the stress on the bones of the jaw, preventing any such bone loss.
Our office has installed hundreds of implants, and only one of our patients has ever rejected an implant. For that patient, once we replaced the implant with a similar one of a different material, the rejection ceased. Age should not play a role in determining eligibility for an implant; we worked with one patient over the age of 90, and each of the several implants that we installed were successful.
Are dental implants noticeable?
In most cases, dental implants blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth. They look so natural that the only way to ascertain which of an individual’s teeth was an implant would be by taking an X-ray. Installing a dental implant is essentially painless; our office administers a local anesthetic, and once the area has become numb, we place the implant in the space between the teeth. The site is usually sore for a few days after the operation, but our patients rarely report any ache or pain after that time.
How does the dental implant procedure work?
Our office enlists the top oral surgeons in the Buffalo area to place the implants, and then I place the post and crown on the base of the implants. The bottom part of an implant must be screwed into the mandible or the maxilla, which are the bones of the jaw and the roof of the mouth. This process may sound unpleasant and painful, but it is necessary in order to allow the implant to remain permanently in place. We use an anesthetic to numb our patients, so there is no pain that occurs during the operation. The surgeon is the most experienced at placing the implant, and the material used at the implant’s base will easily and directly bond to the bone.
Once the dental implant is placed, there is a period of roughly three months during which the implant integrates into the maxilla or the mandible. Then, we are able to perform the restorative part of the procedure, which involves the installation of the false tooth.
What habits should I avoid after I have had a dental implant installed?
The main habit to cut out is smoking, which can affect the way by which the implant will adjust to the body. You must try to cut down on or quit smoking. Smokeless tobacco is considered less harmful than regular tobacco, but it can still affect the quality and stability of your dental implant.
How much do dental implants cost?
The biggest challenge with dental implants is the expense. Implants are often more expensive than a simple bridge is. Our office offers our patients payment plans, which can be adjusted based on financial need. More and more insurances are starting to cover dental implants, and we expect the cost of implants to decrease in the coming years.
If you have questions about dental implants, or would like to schedule your regular check-up, please contact our Buffalo dental office and schedule an appointment today.