EXPERT Q&A

Q: What are dental implants and when are they used?

What our experts say:

I love implants. They are used any time you can’t save your tooth and it gets taken out. It’s our best restoration to replace the tooth. If done right, once they are in they are in, they will last for the rest of your life. They literally feel and function the same way natural teeth do. Implants created an option for people that they never had before. They no longer have to have bridges and they don’t have to involve other teeth. We put a crown on an implant and they are as good as new.  The only risk factor is if the patient smokes. We have to be careful, because in smokers they tend to fail a little more often.

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Dr. Irene Grafman

Cosmetic Dentist

New York, New York

We use implants when somebody is missing a tooth, or if they have a broken tooth extracted and it can’t be saved. A single implant fixes a one-tooth problem with a one-tooth solution. If you have a space, we can put an implant into that space and put a crown on top of it; as opposed to having a space, and having to grind down the tooth in front and behind the space and then making a bridge to bridge the gap. That way uses three teeth to solve a one-tooth problem. Other times, implants are used if someone is missing many teeth. An implant equals the root that used to be there. On top of the implants, we can put teeth (fabricated crowns) that stay in the mouth.  So instead of removable piece like dentures, the teeth stay there. They can be cemented into place, or we can use tiny titanium screws into healthy jaw bone that hold them into place. The patient still has to clean them and go to the hygienist for cleanings.  They can still get periodontal disease, but they don’t decay. 

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Dr. Jason Kasarsky

Cosmetic Dentist

New York, New York

Implants are the best solution to any sort of space or gap in the mouth. They are a natural replacement for your own tooth, and they don’t compromise the structure or integrity of the teeth next to them.  Just like your own teeth, you can brush and floss like you would normally do. You have to have adequate bone. We do a 3D scan and determine the placement for the implant, if everything is normal, than it’s a one- to two-step appt. But, if the patient doesn’t have enough bone, than they need a healing period of 4 to 6 months for a bone graft of their own bone (from the mandible or chin) or an artificial bone (the artificial graft takes 6 months to a year). After that, it takes a couple of visits.

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Dr. Niloufer Hamsayeh

Cosmetic Dentist

San Francisco, California

Dental implants are titanium screws that are placed into the jaw to replace missing teeth. The implant serves as the root, or support of the tooth, and a crown is placed on the implant to replace the visible part of the tooth. When a tooth is missing, whether from decay, trauma, or if it never grew in the first place, an implant is a great replacement. Typically, implants are completed in three stages: 1.) The implant itself is inserted into the jawbone and left 3-6 months to integrate with the bone. 2.) The implant is uncovered and an impression is taken for the crown. 3.) The crown is either screwed into the implant directly, or an abutment (post) is screwed into the implant and a crown cemented over it. Alternatives to implants are a bridge or a removable appliance/denture. Multiple implants can also be placed when all teeth on the upper or lower jaw are missing and the implants can support a full arch of false teeth!

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Drs. Jan Linhart & Zachary Linhart

Cosmetic Dentist

New York, New York

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