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Westwood Periodontics
Westwood Periodontics

Westwood Periodontics
Your Westwood, NJ Dentist


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Dental Implant FAQ


3D diagram of a dental implant and its parts (post, abutment, and crown) being placed in a mouth.]]]
A permanent solution to artificial teeth are dental implants which give outstanding results for those patients needing artificial teeth. Whether in need of full dentures or a partial, dental implants can help secure them in place. Here at Westwood Periodontics we have the information you need to make your treatment decision.


A dental implant is a small titanium screw, which is gently and precisely placed into a carefully planned position in the jawbone. The implant is designed to replace the root of a missing tooth, effectively serving as a support structure for a restoration.

Implants are normally allowed to heal, undisturbed, for the next 9 to 12 weeks. During this period, the implant is not put under any pressure, enabling the bone to fuse to the implant through a process known as osteointegration.

Once this process is complete, the implant may then be used to support an individual crown. If placed properly, implants should last for many years.
Implant dentistry has been highly researched and practiced by periodontists since the 1970s. There is more than 50 years of research, proving the success of dental implants, when placed by a periodontist. Now that many general dentists attempt to do these services in their office, the percentage of successful treatment has decreased significantly.

Dental implants are not a technique, they are a science, one which takes years of academic training and practice to master. A dental implant is a predictable option when placed by a qualified periodontist, as they receive additional schooling and a board certification.
In a recent trend, general dentists are now learning, attempting, and offering to place dental implants to unwitting patients. The coursework they undergo to offer such a procedure typically ranges from 40 to 100 hours.

A Board-Certified Periodontist & Dental Implant Surgeon is required to complete all the schooling of a general dentist, and then a three-year full-time residency to hone their skills and build expertise.

There are vital structures, such as nerves, arteries, veins, and sinuses that come in close proximity to a properly placed dental implant. If you want to minimize your risk of complications, choose a periodontist. If you want a supreme level of care, choose a periodontist.
Dental implants are made from titanium because of the metal’s unique property: it can fuse to living bone. This process is known as osseointegration and is responsible for dental implants staying in place.

The implant fuses to the jawbone during a period of 3 to 5 months following placement. When everything goes perfectly, osseointegration will help to build an unbreakable bond between the implant and your jawbone.
With regularly brushing, flossing, and following your dentist’s recommendations, dental implants can last a lifetime. Your dentist can provide you with suggestions and guidelines on how to take good care of your teeth. Following the guidelines your dentist gives you will help ensure your implant has the best chance of lasting a lifetime.
The amount of pain is based on how the surgery is designed and how well it is performed. When Dr. Gupta places implants, she uses a minimally invasive approach with no incisions or sutures. This technique is called the flapless technique.

The flapless technique is an advanced procedure and requires the experience of placing hundreds of implants per year, year after year, before it can be mastered. That said, it is the most effective way to minimize post-op discomfort.

If bone grafting or sinus grafting is required during the implant surgery, then we may need to place an incision. This can cause some swelling and soreness. But at Westwood Periodontics, if I extract the tooth & perform a bone graft, implant placement is usually painless.
As with any oral surgery procedure, there will be some discomfort once the anesthetic has worn off. Implant recipients are likely to have some pain that lasts a day or two, and sometimes some minor swelling, which can last around a week. Discomfort can usually be controlled by over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen.

The approach that Dr. Gupta utilizes is a minimally invasive one. Most of the implants done at her practice do not require incisions or stitches and have minimal post-op discomfort.

As you might expect, advanced procedures that involve more surgery can carry a higher likelihood of longer lasting pain, swelling, or bruising. Dr. Gupta will thoroughly explain before surgery how you may feel post-op. She will also advise on how you should take care of your mouth, and whether you need to take time off work.
It will take at least nine weeks before an implant is strong enough to support a restoration. Numerous scientific journals have shown that is the time it takes for bone to start to mature. Dr. Gupta will sometimes delay the crown placement to 12 weeks if she senses the bone has not yet healed appropriately.

In some situations, a crown can be placed the same day an implant is, but this comes with an additional level of risk because bone healing has yet to take place. A temporary restoration is attached to the implant the same day as the implant surgery, but the teeth are kept out of occlusion for a nine to 12 week window.

Dr. Gupta only employs this technique for anterior teeth with long implants. The area must have a good quantity of bone and healthy gum tissue to minimize the risk of failure.
An oral surgeon is a specialist of the oral maxillofacial region. These doctors do not have the training to treat or maintain implant problems, as well as problems with the adjacent teeth, all of which are very common.

A periodontist is a doctor who specializes in maintaining and improving teeth and their surrounding tissues. Simply put, their training is centered around saving your teeth, while much of an oral surgeon’s is centered around removing problematic ones.
Costs vary depending on the number of implants, the type of prosthesis, and whether or not bone grafting is necessary. There is as much a range in the cost of dental implants as there is in the quality of them.

Dental implants are safe and predictable and proven successful by a few dental implant manufacturers. These manufacturers have perfected the design based on decades of research they have done on thousands of their implants. All of which have been researched by periodontists since the 1970s.

But, unfortunately, not all dental implant manufacturers have a proven track record. These brands tend to be much more inexpensive, but they tend to be much less reliable too. Many of these unproven brands target general dentists, and sell them their products, simply because they don’t know any better.

The cheaper dental implant option presents financial benefits but come with great risk to the patient who thinks they’re signing up for a lifelong solution. Instead, they experience symptomatic implants.

These are things to consider when the person who is going to place your dental implant. A good implant, placed by a periodontist a might be more expensive, but a lifelong solution to a lifelong problem is ultimately a great investment.

The reason Westwood Periodontics is an excellent choice is not only because board certified but have extensive hygiene program where were routinely and thoroughly clean the implant.
Some dental insurance companies do cover implants. But the coverage may not amount to significant savings. In many cases, your insurance may offer to help pay for the teeth placed on your implants, but be sure to call your provider first to confirm coverage.

The main issue with dental insurance is the annual limit, which typically covers a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars worth of treatment. So, even though dental insurance can be helpful, it does not provide sufficient coverage when patients are missing multiple teeth and want implants.
For the lower jaw, you need a minimum of two implants to anchor a denture if you are missing all your teeth. This type of design will significantly improve the quality of life for patients

missing their teeth. A traditional lower denture has a significant amount of movement while chewing or biting due to interference from the tongue and cheeks.

With the two-implant design, there will be some back-and-forth movement of the denture during chewing, but the denture will still be anchored in place. Chewing efficiency will greatly improve, even with just two implants.

If you choose a more sophisticated prosthesis, you will experience increased stability and stronger chewing ability. This involves placing four implants.

In the four-implant design, and if the implants are placed properly, there should be no movement of the prosthesis. The prosthesis will have stability similar to a table with four legs.

The “All-on-4 technique” is a technique which gets a lot of attention, that utilizes four or more implants to support a non-removable prosthesis. This is an excellent and economical technique for patients who have already lost all their teeth and would like to upgrade from a denture. However, it is not a superior technique to conventional implant planning.

Dr. Gupta strives to maintain as many natural teeth as possible during the restoration process, only providing implants where needed. If you need to replace all of your teeth, the best option is usually six parallel implants versus the “All-on-4 technique.” The six-implant technique helps to better mitigate and minimize future bone loss.
Depending on the space, Dr. Gupta can use two implants to support three and sometimes four teeth. This restoration is called a bridge. This restoration looks and feels very natural.
Mini-implants have been touted as an inexpensive option for tooth replacement. Unfortunately, research has shown that mini-implants do not provide sufficient support for the strong forces of biting and chewing that a dental prosthesis must withstand.

Dental implants are meant to take the place of a natural tooth root, the stronger the implant, the more stable and enduring the tooth will be. Mini-implants are simply not strong enough to support fixed bridgework or even a single crown.

In certain cases, mini-implants can be used to support a denture, but this is only on a temporary basis. Patients with mini implants will likely need to have them replaced at some point.
No smoking. Smoking causes gum disease and recession, which weakens the dental implant structure over time. Smoking also impairs healing and prevents the gums and bone from properly connecting to the implant.

Patients should also avoid eating food using the area of surgery until the healing process is complete. Don’t worry, Dr. Gupta will give you a detailed set of post-operative instructions to ensure the success of your implant placement. In most cases, you should be able to return your normal daily activities within a day.
Because the bone fuses to the implant post, you cannot remove dental implants. That is why implants serve as the best replacement option next to your natural teeth. If a dental implant is infected or failing, a surgical procedure should be performed as possible to separate the bone from the implant.
A good candidate for implants must be committed to the proper oral hygiene habits that keep the implants clean and healthy. The adjacent teeth must also have healthy gum tissues and be free of inflammation/disease for a successful outcome.

In general, you may be a good candidate for dental implants if you:
•  Are missing one or more teeth
•  Have enough bone to ensure the dental implant is secure or qualify for a bone graft
•  Have a fully grown jawbone
•  Have healthy oral tissues
•  Are unwilling or unable to wear dentures
•  Don’t have a medical condition that would affect bone healing
•  Would like to improve your chewing
•  Can commit to the process
•  Don’t smoke or are willing to quit
Dental implants can help provide support and retention for a removable implant overdenture that the dentist snaps on your implants. Implants help ensure that the full or partial denture doesn’t move. Implants also decrease the need for denture glue and adhesives. Individuals who wear partial or full dentures are the most frequent users of dental implants.
Caring for dental implants is essential to their longevity and your overall oral health. While dental implants do not require special care compared to natural teeth, there are some important steps you can take to ensure their success and prevent complications. Here are some guidelines for caring for your dental implants:

Oral hygiene


Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Use a low-abrasive toothpaste and gently clean around the implant area. Flossing is also crucial to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth and around the implant. Consider using a flosser or interdental brushes designed for implant care.

Regular dental visits


Visit our office for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. These visits allow Dr. Gupta to monitor the health of your dental implants, assess the surrounding gums, and address any potential issues early on.

Avoid harmful habits


Avoid chewing on hard objects, such as ice or pens, as this can exert excessive force on the implant and potentially damage it. Additionally, refrain from habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as they can negatively impact the success of dental implants.

Protecting your implants


If you participate in sports or activities that carry a risk of dental trauma, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your implants and natural teeth.

Remember, caring for your dental implants is vital for their long-term success. Following these guidelines, along with maintaining good oral hygiene practices, will help keep your implants healthy and ensure a beautiful smile for years to come.
Yes, you can undergo an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan even if you have dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, implants, or bridges. MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the body and is not typically affected by dental materials, which are usually made from non-magnetic substances. The titanium, titanium alloy, and zirconia used in most dental implants are not ferromagnetic metals - making it perfectly safe to enter an MRI with them in your mouth.

However, if you have certain types of metal braces or other dental appliances, it's important to inform the MRI technician, as some older dental materials might be magnetic. Your dentist or radiologist can provide specific guidance based on your individual dental situation.
Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, does not disqualify you from receiving implants. This condition typically affects larger supportive bones in your body and not the jaw.

It’s possible you may require additional procedures such as bone grafting to strengthen the area before implant placement. But that is not necessarily due to osteoporosis.

Schedule an Appointment


There are a lot of options with regard to dental implants. Which ones are best suited for you and your situation? Come find out with our dental examination and consultation at Westwood Periodontics. We are always available to answer your questions or concerns. You can give us a call at (551) 751-2024 to get all the information necessary to make an appropriate decision with regard to your dental implant procedure.


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