Dental Implants 101

As experienced Manhattan cosmetic dentists, we’ve placed thousands of dental implants. If you have broken or missing teeth, dental implants can restore your beautiful smile and protect surrounding teeth, gums and jawbone. If you aren’t sure what dental implants are, how they are inserted, or how long they last, this blog post will give you all the details!

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are comprised of a titanium post placed in the jaw, which is topped with a ceramic tooth, called a crown. Dental implantsScreen Shot 2013-08-06 at 6.57.47 PM are as strong as normal teeth, and they are permanent: they don’t come out like a dental bridge or dentures. Dental implants look exactly like natural teeth and you brush and floss between them in the same way.

How are dental implants inserted into the mouth?
The first step is the insertion of the small titanium post into your jawbone. This post looks like a tiny screw. (Don’t worry: we take all necessary steps to make this a comfortable event!). Within about 6-12 weeks, the titanium post fuses with your jawbone in the same way the roots of your teeth connect to your jaws.

Once this fusion has taken place, you’ll return to our office for the next step. We secure a tiny steel “cap,” called an abutment, to the titanium implant. The abutment holds the ceramic tooth (the crown) and the titanium post together. The tooth, or crown, is then attached to the abutment, giving you a brand new, beautiful smile!

How long do dental implants last?
With proper care, your dental implant(s) should last indefinitely. You must, however, brush and floss just as you do your “natural” teeth.

Dental implants aren’t just about looking good. Missing teeth cause eating problems, including pain when chewing. Further, a missing tooth increases your risk of periodontal (gum) disease, infection, and even malnutrition. Also, because your teeth stimulate the gums and bony tissues in your jaw, missing teeth cause the tissues and bones to shrink. This affects other teeth in your mouth, leading to more tooth loss as surrounding teeth drift, loosen or even fall out.

If you have missing teeth, contact our Manhattan cosmetic dental office today for a consultation. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can give you a better smile and a better life!

To your beautiful smile,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry, NYC, Manhattan, New York City

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