Chances are that you have heard a lot of buzz about dental implants. Turn on the radio or TV, and you’ll likely hear advertisements praising the benefits of dental implants. You’ve probably also heard that they can be expensive and involve surgery. Here at Keith Bracy, DDS we are happy to review the pros and cons, myths and facts about dental implants in our NYC dental office.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- They are fixed in your mouth. Unlike a removable partial denture, your dental implant is secure and stable in your mouth! There are no embarrassing moments when you need to take it out and they won’t move around or require denture adhesive. There are no metal or plastic clasps like partials.
- They have a high success rate – A properly placed and treatment planned dental implant can last a lifetime. Dental implants are very stable restorations. It is important to note, that dental implants require observation and maintenance. After you have them placed, you must keep up with regular dental exams, cleanings and routine x-rays. It is always best in dentistry to find a problem or issue when it is small and can easily be fixed, the same is true for dental implants.
- Better than a bridge – When a dental bridge is fabricated, the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be prepared for filed to certain dimensions. The bridge is cemented to these prepared teeth. Thus, two teeth are compromised and are tied to the lifespan of the bridge. If something happens to the adjacent teeth, then your bridge must be replaced or redone.
Steps in the Dental Implant Process
- Treatment planning - See Dr. Bracy for a comprehensive treatment plan and see if you are a candidate for dental implants. A thorough review of your medical history, clinical exam and x-rays must be taken to evaluate you. Some factors that weigh against placement of dental implants are history of bisphosphonate usage, radiation therapy to the jaws, and uncontrolled diabetes to name a few. Dr. Bracy must also evualte your jaw bone and your bite to treatment plan your dental implant.
- Surgical Phase – If you are replacing a bad tooth with an implant, first you must have the tooth extracted. Often time, you must have bone graft placed in the site of the extraction to ensure the success of the dental implant. After the bone graft heals, you can have your dental implant placed. In some cases, the dental implant can be placed at the same of the extraction and other times, we must wait 2-4 months to place the implant body surgically.
- Restorative Phase – After the implant heals in your jaw bone, the implant crown can be placed. This takes about 2-4 months depending on the case. Dr. Bracy must make sure that the implant has integrated into your bone – this is called Osseo integration! We will scan your dental implant and in a couple of weeks, you’ll have your tooth placed.
Will I have to walk around with a missing tooth while I wait for my dental implant to be finished?
No, Dr. Bracy will fabricate either a fixed or removable temporary tooth for you. If you are a candidate for a fixed temporary – this will sit on top of the implant. The removable option is also called a “flipper” in slang terminology.
Advances in Dental Implants
At Keith Bracy, DDS, we utilize digital scanning technology to make your dental implant crowns. Gone are the days of goopy, messy putty impressions. Not only do traditional impressions taste bad and are hard to tolerate, they also are not as accurate as digital impressions. Using our 3M digital scanner, we will take a scan of your dental implant to fabricate the crown. Your dental implant crown will have an excellent fit and you’ll see the difference digital makes.
Call Keith Bracy, DDS today to learn more about dental implants! 212-390-8399. We are open every weekday in the West Village, NYC.