What are my options to replace a missing tooth or teeth?
The first goal of a Periodontist is to treat and save your teeth. There is nothing better than your own teeth! However, sometimes teeth are lost due to decay, trauma, or periodontal disease. Replacement options include a fixed bridge, removable denture, or dental implants.
1. *With a fixed bridge, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth are shaved down, then crowned ("capped"). The laboratory creates a false tooth that is connected to the crowned teeth. The entire bridge is cemented onto the good teeth. One possible problem with a fixed bridge is that we have to take two perfectly good teeth and reshape them. Also, it is more difficult to floss because you have to floss under 3 (or more) teeth which are connected together. In addition, if one of the teeth in the bridge gets a cavity, you may need to replace the entire bridge.
2. *A denture is a removable tooth (or teeth). Many patients find that they are uncomfortable and don't like to wear them.
3. *A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or teeth.
What are some of the advantages of dental implants?
+ A single implant usually stands by itself, so it is easier to floss.
+ We don't have to shave down the adjacent teeth.
+ Unlike a denture, the implant is not removable - it becomes a fixed part of your jaw. You don't have to worry about forgetting to put the tooth in when you go out to dinner! In fact, many of our patients say the implant tooth feels just like one of their natural teeth.
Are you a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Of course, people who smoke or have poorly controlled diabetes (and various other health issues) are not ideal candidates.
Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since Periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do Periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to get teeth that look and feel just like your own. Your dentist and Periodontist will work together to help improve your dental health.
How does Dr. Leon do Implant surgery?
The first thing we do is evaluate your x-rays and examine your mouth. We check the bone width and height, as well as the positions of the various nerves and the sinus. We discuss our findings with your dentist and together come up with a treatment plan.
For most patients, a CT scan (or I-CAT) is the best way to do a thorough assessment of your jaw. as part of the planning process. This type of x-ray gives us a 3-D view of the anatomy of your jaw, the bone, your sinuses, and the nerves.
Dr. Leon does most of her implant surgery in a hospital setting, where you can safely have sedation ("twilight sleep"). We work with specially trained medical and dental staff, whose primary job is to make sure that you are comfortable and safe. We have the most up-to-date equipment for the implant procedure and to monitor you while under sedation. When you wake up, the surgery is done and the implant is in place! You can walk out 1-2 hours later, although you will need to have a driver.
What are the Steps in Getting a Dental Implant?
Dental implants consist of 3 basic procedures:
1.Placement of the implant into the bone. An Implant is basically a post that acts like the root of the tooth. It is inserted into the jaw bone, and usually remains just below the gums. It has a small opening in the top for the connector (see next line).
2.The Abutment is a connector that inserts into the opening in the implant and sticks up above the gums.
3.The Crown fits on top of the abutment and is your "new tooth". This is also known as the restoration.
What are the roles of my Dentist and Periodontist with implants?
Dental implants are a team effort between the patient, your Dentist, and the Periodontist. All three parts of the team discuss where the implant is to be placed and how it is to be restored. Other replacement options are also discussed so you can make an informed decision.
Depending on your specific problem, your Dentist and Periodontist will create a custom treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
What types of implant restorations are possible?
Replacing a Single Tooth: If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it.
Replacing Several Teeth: If you are missing several teeth, multiple single implants or implant-supported bridges can replace them.
Replacing All of Your Teeth: If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. The implants will make the bridge or denture fit more securely than if you didn't have the implants. This can be a good solution for a patient who has a denture that doesn't fit well or isn't stable. In some cases, we can make a much smaller restoration than your denture, and even leave the palate open so you can enjoy your food more.
What if I don't have enough bone?
Sinus Augmentation A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing more bone for the placement of dental implants. Sometimes we can place the implant the same day as the sinus augmentation, but sometimes we have to let the site heal for several months before we can place the implant. The CT scan is very helpful in planning whether a sinus augmentation is necessary.
Ridge Modification Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the defect can be filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the jaw (ridge). Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
What can I expect after I get a Dental Implant?
Immediately after the implant surgery, most patients just need to take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). We will give you a prescription for stronger pain medication "just in case", but most patients don't need it. You may get some swelling, but this can be reduced and often prevented with ice packs. We usually have you take an antibiotic for several days. Most patients can return to work 1 or 2 days after the surgery.
As you know, your own teeth require conscientious oral care at home and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!
After treatment, your Periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth, and gums to make sure they remain healthy.
Monday: 9:45 am - 7:30 pm
Tuesday: 9:45 am - 7:30 pm
Thursday: 9:45 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9:45 am - 6 pm
Dr. Linda Leon
138 Stage Rd.
Monroe, NY 10950
PHONE: (845) 783-4490
FAX: (845) 782-7030