Dental Implants: A Better Way to Replace Teeth
Why are dental implants important?
Missing a tooth isn’t just bad for your looks; it can be bad for your health as well! Healthy teeth play an important role in the body from head to toe. When you are missing one, your jawbone deteriorates, your self-esteem suffers and so does your diet, which negatively affects the health of your entire body. Dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized as the best replacement method.
The Miracle of Osseointegration (How Dental Implants Work)
Our bodies are truly amazing – their ability to coexist with a variety of native and foreign materials means that our treatment options, as oral surgeons, are constantly expanding. “Osseointegration” refers to the fusing of bone with an artificial material. Its origins date back to the 1940s and 50s, when Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium fuses so well with bone that it is nearly impossible to remove! Since then, the biocompatibility of titanium has proven itself to be amazingly reliable over and over again.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are made of titanium. A completed implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown) and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth). Dr. Meyer, Dr. McElroy, Dr. Paterson, Dr. Gelband or Dr. Shah will place the implant and the abutment, and the crown will be completed by your general dentist.
Time is of the Essence
You may be surprised to hear that your jawbone is a lot like a muscle, in that it must be stimulated regularly in order to maintain its volume. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted (or falls out naturally), the jawbone begins to deteriorate almost immediately. In fact, studies show that within a year of tooth loss, there is a 25% decrease in bone width. Thankfully, dental implants can take the place of natural teeth to provide the stimulus needed by the jaw. If done early, this greatly reduces the need for bone grafting down the road.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
How much do dental implants cost?
While the upfront cost is often more than that of alternatives such as bridges and dentures, dental implants outlast those approaches by several decades. This increased longevity makes implants the more affordable choice in the long run. For further information, visit our dental implants cost page.
Dental Implants: The Process
- Consultation and Treatment Plan: During the initial phase of the dental implant process, imaging is gathered along with your medical and dental histories to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore your treatment options with you to formulate a plan that ensures that both your health goals and budgetary needs are met.
- Extraction: The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant at the same time of extraction. In others, bone grafting will be required prior to implant placement (see next step).
- Bone Grafting: It is fairly common for the jawbone to lack the mass needed to accept an implant. In this case, a bone graft will be performed first to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting is typically followed by several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Surgery: During the implant procedure itself, a titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. You will be anesthetized for comfort during the surgery, which takes about 1-2 hours.
- Osseointegration: After placing the implant, we cover it with the surrounding soft tissue and let it sit for 3 months in order to fuse with the bone.
- Final Restoration: After osseointegration is complete, an abutment is placed on the implant to connect with the final crown restoration. Typically, the final restoration is done by a general dentist.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
For more information, please visit our dental implant FAQs page.
At Central Jersey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, P.A., we are proud to offer a safe, comfortable and affordable dental implant experience to our patients with the help of cutting-edge technology and utilization of the latest techniques. Call us at Matawan Office Phone Number 732-566-7648 to get started on your journey – we are here with the support, guidance, and expertise you deserve.
Schedule an Appointment online or call one of our four convenient locations.
Ocean Township: Ocean Township Office Phone Number 732-531-4400
Old Bridge: Old Bridge Office Phone Number 732-679-0800
Central Jersey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, P.A.
It was a long procedure but so well worth it. Will be having more work done in the future!
- Susan L
Dr. Meyer represents all that medical professionals should strive to be: extremely professional, caring, gentle, technically competent, reassuring, etc. He treats each patient as a whole person, not just a single diagnosis. Others in the field could learn much from him. I am very greatful that he was in charge of my extractions and implants.
- Jane M
Dr. Shah Old Bridge
I highly recommend Dr Meyer and his entire staff. Everyone at Dr Meyer's office treats you with respect and they are all very caring and pleasant.
- Norma B
I couldn't be more please with the entire implant procedure. Everything was thoroughly explained every step of the way and virtually pain free!!
- Sharon M
Dr. Meyer was very professional and friendly. Excellent results!
- Tobey G
Saw Dr.Meyer, very professional,caring,and kind.
- Teresa Rigney
Very pleased with everyone from start to finish
- Elizabeth C
Dr. Meyer in the Ocean office is the best doctor I've ever had, very professional, informative and patient!
- Francis O
Dr McElroy was gentle. He explained everything as he is working on me. I did not feel the needles. I did not have any pain. He makes you feel so comfortable.
- Babette K