Are you hiding your smile because of broken or missing teeth? Are your dentures giving you constant discomfort?
For a long time the only way to treat people with missing teeth was to do costly and painful bridgework and/or install dentures. But in this modern day and age dental technicians have developed dental implants that do the trick just as well as the more traditional dental methods. Dental organizations report that last year over five million dental implants were done successfully in the United States alone!
One of the specialists in this area is Dr. David Scharf. At the Long Island Periodontist office he oversees, they offer a complete list of restorative and cosmetic dental surgery options, as well as sound preventive measures to keep oral problems from developing or deepening. His state of the art equipment and techniques includes bonding veneers with porcelain, the latest implant technology, three-D digital X-rays, and computer-enhanced crown manufacture.
The nature of dental implants
A dental implant replaces the root of a missing tooth. It can be done for just one tooth, or for several. They are usually made of titanium — the same metal used for the chassis of airplanes. These posts are physically inserted right into the bone of the jaw to help fix a synthetic tooth that looks exactly like the teeth around it.
Currently there are two different methods of dental implants. Dr. Scharf prefers the full implant method over the mini implant method, and so recommends it for all his patients.
“The full implant method offers the best strength and resistance to wear and tear” says Dr. Scharf.
Their benefits When synthetic teeth are required, a dental implant offers the firmest support possible. There’s almost no chance of slippage of shifting, so eating and speaking are worry-free!
The dental implant makes man-made teeth fit so comfortably that most patients don’t even know it’s there after an initial postoperative 48 hour period.
Their durability means they should last as long as you do — never needing any kind of expensive replacement.
The denture hybrid
Sometimes patients opt for what is called a hybrid denture. These fixed-detachable dentures are in actuality glued to regular dental implants. They are different from regular dentures in that they are only removable by a dental technician, so patients who have a hybrid denture must schedule several appointments each year to have their hybrids professionally unattached and cleaned.
Examine the options before deciding
Dr. Scharf says that all dental procedures are not created equal, and that patients should think carefully and seek professional advice before making a decision that will affect their health, their looks, and their pocketbook for many years to come. Among other things to consider:
How good is the bone quality and density in the patient’s mouth?
Is the mouth cavity wide or narrow?
Which procedure will ultimately look more pleasing?
And, how much can the patient afford — or does their insurance cover?
Dr. Scharf explains that oral surgery and implantation often depends on the aesthetics of the patient’s appearance and their preference. Some patients have high smile lines and a hybrid procedure would look out of place. Other patients have very narrow jawlines that make a full implant the only option to avoid future friction and possible impact on the neighboring teeth. He concludes by stating that dental implants will completely replace regular dentures, except in exceptional circumstance, within the next ten years.