At McOmber Dental, all dental implants are placed by our Board Certified Periodontist Dr. Kenneth Gluck, DMD, MDS. Dr. Gluck, a clinical assistant professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, has trained extensively in implant surgery and its associated procedures. He has successfully placed literally thousands of implants. He has had the opportunity to train on five top implant systems and to discover the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of implant manufacturers. But what is a dental implant and why might it be right for you?
A dental implant is a titanium post that anchors into the jawbone in order to replace missing teeth or help retain a partial or complete denture. It has revolutionized the dental field in terms of how we plan treatment and how we restore missing teeth. The result is a beautiful natural-looking tooth that functions like your real teeth and will allow you to smile with confidence.
Dental Implant – Components
A dental implant to replace a single missing tooth is made up of three components:
- Implant (the anchor in the bone that acts as an artificial root)
- Crown (the “tooth” part that is usually made of porcelain/ceramic and/or metal)
- Abutment (the middle component that connects the two above mentioned parts)
Dental Implant – Advantages
Before dental implants, if a patient was missing a single tooth, the adjacent teeth would have to be shaved down by drilling away the outer tooth structure, the enamel, thereby weakening the teeth. This would create two stumps that could then have three “teeth” (crowns) cemented on to create the illusion of a natural tooth in the middle. However, because the three crowns are one unit (see below), you cannot floss between the teeth; home care will be more difficult and time-consuming. Now, with dental implants, the adjacent teeth do not have to be altered, thereby preserving their structural integrity. Additionally, because the dental implant as a replacement tooth does not involve neighboring teeth, one can floss between the teeth in the traditional manner, keeping it clean and healthy for life.
Bridge vs. Implant:
Dental Implant – Applications
A dental implant can replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, aid in retention for partial or complete dentures, and even retain a full arch of fixed replacement teeth.
Implants with attachments to improve removable denture retention
1. Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Fortunately, there are few absolute contra-indications for dental implant placement. Your surgeon will meet with you to review your medical/social history and determine if you are a candidate.
2. How successful are they?
The literature reports approximately a 96-97% success rate. However, there can be diminished success for heavy smokers, uncontrolled diabetics, or immunocompromised patients. Your surgeon will discuss all risks with you at the consultation visit.
3. Is age a factor in the success of the treatment?
Not necessarily, if you are a healthy patient without risk factors, dental implants will allow for a better quality of life regardless of age.
4. I am on blood thinners, can I still get implants?
Usually, yes. Your surgeon will consult with your physician/cardiologist to determine the safest way to treat you.
5. How much do they cost?
They vary depending on the overall treatment plan. Ancillary procedures like bone grafting and sinus elevation might need to be incorporated into your treatment plan in order for the implants to be placed in sufficient bone. At your consultation visit, the complexity of your particular case will be discussed and the associated fees will be reviewed with you in detail. For more information, see our Dental Implant Costs page.