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TMJ Treatment




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Bonding

Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.


The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth.


Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes:
- To improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth
- To close slight spaces between teeth
- To make teeth look longer
- Or to change the shape or color of teeth




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Home Whitening

Whitening your teeth at home often involves using a custom fitted mouth guard into which a whitening solution is placed. These custom fitted mouth guards will help protect your gums from irritation that occurs while using ill-fitted over-the-counter whitening mouth pieces. After the solution is placed in the mouth guard, it is placed over the teeth and left on for a few hours or overnight depending on the type of whitening solution. Ask Dr. Mati if home whitening is right for you.




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Single Visit Whitening

One hour bleaching systems use a very bright light to activate higher bleaching concentrations to produce faster, more dramatic whitening results.


The technician will protect your mouth very carefully using cotton rolls, gauze and a liquid dam.


A special whitening lamp is used to activate the whitening gel for approximately 60 minutes.




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Tooth Colored Fillings

Tooth Colored Fillings

In order to make a filling appear almost invisible to the naked eye, composite fillings are often used. These fillings are designed to match your natural tooth color and are bonded to your teeth, which makes them less likely to fall out. These fillings are used to replace older fillings made of silver or gold. Tooth colored fillings have a more aesthetic appearance, can be completed in one visit, form a strong seal and are less likely to crack a tooth.




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Dental Veneers

Dr. Mati is a cosmetic dentist in Bingham Farms. A veneer procedure is a popular cosmetic procedure. Veneers may be recommended in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures to produce optimal results.


Veneers are a thin, semi-transparent tooth shaped "shell" that are custom made of porcelain. They are permanently bonded to your natural teeth which are located in your "smile zone" to enhance their shape, color, length or size.


Veneers can fix gaps between teeth and/or improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, misshapen or misaligned.


Procedure:
1) The teeth are cleaned and any old surface restorations are removed.
2) An impression is taken of the prepped tooth and sent to a lab where a veneer is fabricated.
3) The veneer is applied with bonding resin and curing light.
4) After the veneer is set, it is shaped and polished to look like a natural tooth.




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Periodontal Bone Graft

The best material for a bone graft is your own bone, which most likely will come from your chin, the back part of your lower jaw or your hip bone. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone has a lot of marrow, which contains bone-forming cells. There are also synthetic materials that can be used for bone grafting. To place the removed bone in the recipient site, little holes are drilled in the existing bone to cause bleeding. This is done because blood provides cells that help the bone heal. The block of bone that was removed will be anchored in place with titanium screws. A mixture of the patient's bone marrow and some other bone-graft material will then be placed around the edges of the bone block. Finally, a membrane is placed over the area and the incision closed. The bone graft will take about 6 to 12 months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed.




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Functional Crown Lengthening

Decay can frequently be found below the gum line. In order to gain access to the decay, it is necessary to reduce some of the bone surrounding the area of decay so the gum tissue can be positioned either higher up or lower down on the tooth making access to repair decay feasible. In other circumstances, the tooth may fracture below the gum line. Often the tooth requires a crown (cap) to cover over the fracture line. In order for the crown to fit over the fracture line, it is necessary to raise or lower the gum and reshape the bone accordingly so that the fracture line now becomes visible above the gum. The tooth is now ready for a crown (cap). When smiling, ideally there should be a display of upper teeth and a slight amount of gum displayed as well. In many circumstances there is an excessive amount of gum displayed (this is known as a gummy smile). In order to reduce the gum display so that there can be an ideal amount of tooth and gum showing, it is necessary to move both the gum and bone higher up on the teeth. The bone is gently sculpted to create room for the gum tissue to be ideally positioned. Hence the correct proportions of the teeth and gum are now visible.




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Tooth Extraction

Dr. Mati is an experienced tooth extraction dentist in Bingham Farms. When the extraction of a tooth is required:

1) An incision in the gums is made
2) The tooth is removed
3) The area is stitched up and is allowed to heal

During this time, it is important to think about a tooth replacement option. An extracted tooth leaves an open area in the jaw which, in time, allows the neighboring teeth to drift into the area where the tooth was extracted. This in turn, causes a chain reaction to all the surrounding teeth. Also, if you are considering placing an implant in the future, you should consider asking your dentist to place a bone graft at the time of surgery to preserve the bone width and height.




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Wisdom Tooth Problems

Wisdom Tooth Problems

The problems involving your wisdom teeth may be caused by the size of your jaw and/or by how crowded your teeth are. Common warning symptoms that there is an un-natural problem in the development of your wisdom teeth could be pain and swelling.

Symptoms can be caused by:
1) Infection to the gums
2) A crowded tooth displacing neighboring teeth
3) A decayed wisdom tooth
4) Poorly positioned wisdom tooth
5) A cyst that destroys bone




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Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom Tooth Removal

Removal of wisdom teeth could be done while you are sedated and being carefully monitored.

1) An incision is made in the gums.
2) The overlaying bone is removed to
expose the crown of the tooth.
3) The tooth is then extracted as a whole or under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to be removed in pieces. This is generally done for severely impacted wisdom teeth.
4) The area is stitched closed and allowed to heal.




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Adult Orthodontics

Adult Orthodontics

More and more adults today are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. Often times, because adults usually are more compliant in their orthodontic treatment, their results turn out far greater than with a child and or a teen. Orthodontic treatment is not only designed to improve your smile's appearance, but also, to improve the health of your teeth and gums. If you have crowded or overlapping teeth, you may be unable to reach those areas and run the risk of severe tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of tooth enamel and possible TMJ/TMD pain. Recent improvements in traditional braces have resulted in smaller, stronger, more efficient and less conspicuous brackets. Conventional braces with metal brackets are the most familiar, however, clear and tooth-color ceramic and plastic brackets are now available.




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Conventional Braces

Conventional Braces

Braces are bonded brackets, archwires and elastic bands that move crowded or spaced teeth into the proper position for appearance and function.

Over a period of time, teeth will shift if constant, gentle pressure is applied. Brackets are bonded to the front surface of each tooth and wires are attached to the brackets with elastic bands. The slight tension on the wire is gently transferred to the bracket through the elastic band.

Today's orthodontic treatment is faster, comfortable and more fashionable than ever for children, teens and adults.




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Headgear

Orthodontic Headgear

A headgear is an orthodontic appliance attached to dental braces that aid in correcting severe bite problems. The headgear is attached to the braces and is anchored from the back of the head, neck or forehead. Its purpose is to stop the upper jaw from growing and to distalize the upper molars, hence preventing or correcting overbite. The type that is anchored on the forehead is used to medialize the upper molars, hence correcting or preventing under bite. There are two different headgears, one to correct overbite (cervical headgear) and one to treat under bites (reverse headgear). Headgear should be worn 10 - 14 hours daily, typically at night, or as directed by your dentist.




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Invisalign

Dr. Mati, an Invisalign dentist in Bingham Farms, often recommends an Invisalign procedure rather than traditional braces. Invisalign is the breakthrough technology that lets you have the smile you've always wanted without the hassle of braces. By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth with results you'll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step-by-step, until you have a more beautiful smile. Unlike conventional braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual. An average Invisalign course of treatment takes about a year.

The Invisalign Advantage Over Braces
When choosing an option for straitening your teeth, it's important to consider what works best for not only your appearance, but your lifestyle as well.
  INVISALIGN BRACES
Effectively treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite. X X
Straightens your teeth X X
Average cost is about $5,000* X X
Allows you to eat whatever foods you enjoy X  
Lets you remove the device when you want X  
Lets you enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening X  
Allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for better periodontal health X  
Consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums X  
Frees up your busy schedule, with office visits only every four to six weeks X  
Invisalign Teen: Provides up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.** X  

* November 2010 Invisalign Patient Survey

** Invisalign Teen Only


Invisalign Website
Invisalign Self Assessment




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Space Maintainer

Space Maintainer

A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space. They are usually fitted to children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in its correct position.




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Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for patients who are mildly or moderately anxious or nervous. It eases their fears so that they can relax and receive treatment comfortably and safely. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a small mask over the patient's nose. As the gas begins to work, the patient becomes calm, but is still awake and can communicate. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.




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Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation

Patients who are more anxious may need an oral medication that is stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can be aroused if necessary and can respond to simple commands.


Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. Before a visit in which a patient is to receive oral sedation, he/she should receive instructions about eating and drinking, what to expect and what to watch for after treatment. You may need assistance to get home after sedation. Patients may need to stay for a short observation after dental treatment has been completed.




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TMJ / TMD

TMJ and TMD Symptoms and Treatment Overview

Do you ever experience a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth? Have you been suffering from headaches or migraines and no one seems to be able to help you? Have you been taking pain medicine for years and would like to get off of it? Do you feel any clogging or congestion in one or both of your ears? These are just a few of many symptoms that might be associated with TMD, or Temporomandibular Dysfunction, a common condition affecting the jaw joint or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

TMJ dysfunction, often referred to as TMD, is a disharmony between the way the jaw joint works in an unstrained position and the way the teeth and bite work during those movements. Possible causes of this disharmony include tooth loss, accidents (like whiplash), mal-positioned and/or underdeveloped cranial or jawbones, and perhaps habits like clenching or teeth grinding. Many people go through life suffering from headaches and a variety of facial and neck pains without knowing the ultimate cause, which in many cases is TMJ disorder.

Define TMJ and TMD

TMJ or The Temporomandibular Joint

They are the two joints which connect the lower jaw to the temporal bone at the side of the head. If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel the joint on each side of the head. Because these joints are flexible, the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew and yawn. When the TMJ is not functioning normally and it is not within its physiological limits, it creates a condition called TMD, or Temporomandibular Dysfunction.

TMD is a group of conditions resulting from not having a normal function or "comfortable" positioning of the TMJ, and will present as a cycle of pain, muscle spasms and jaw problems. When teeth are missing, out of alignment, crowded or misshaped, chewing and biting cannot be achieved in a balanced way, so the TMJ and the muscles of chewing try to compensate for this unbalanced movement which results in symptoms that will confirm the presence of TMD.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is not just a disorder, but a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and the muscles that control chewing.

TMD falls into three main categories:
  1. Myofascial pain, the most common form of TMD, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw functions and the neck and shoulder muscles.
  2. Internal derangement of the joint meaning a dislocated or displaced disc or injury to the condyle (the rounded part at the end of the jaw bone).
  3. Degenerative joint disease such as Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis in the jaw joint. Causes of TMJ/TMD
There are many causes for TMD such as:
  1. Unbalanced occlusion or "Bad Bite"
  2. Stress (emotional or work/school related)
  3. Injury or trauma (this could have been an injury as obvious as a blow to the jaw with a fist or something as subtle as a whiplash injury with direct trauma to the head or jaw.
  4. Teeth grinding or Bruxism
A "Bad Bite" could be caused by any of the following:
  1. Missing teeth
  2. Crowded or "crooked" teeth
  3. Worn down teeth
  4. Old crowns and bridges
  5. Unbalanced dentures

When teeth are missing, or out of alignment, it causes the jaw to shift positions and the muscles to work harder to chew, swallow, bite...etc and eventually will cause: muscle spasms, tension and pain.

Muscle tension and misplaced TMJ could cause the TMJ disc to be pulled out of place which will result in pain, clicking and popping in the TMJ.

If the disc is displaced for a long time, the bones will start rubbing against each other and some damage will happen to the bone, this is called Osteoorthrosis.

If there is inflammation in other joints or bones of the body, it is called Osteoarthritis (Arthritis) which may involve the jaw bone and the TMJ. Some damage to the bone may be evident on the x-rays.

TMD Symptoms
  1. Headaches, Migraines or tension headaches
  2. Worn or loose teeth
  3. Painful muscles in the neck and shoulders (muscle spasms)
  4. Pain behind the eyes.
  5. Clicking and popping of the jaw joint (TMJ)
  6. Locked jaw or restriction in opening or closing the mouth
  7. Earaches or a clogging feeling in the ears
  8. Tingling or numbness in the hands and the fingertips

TMJ Diagnosis

While recognizing TMJ problems is within the ability of most physicians and dentists, not all practitioners are qualified to diagnose it properly and treat it right. It is imperative that a trained practitioner in Craniofacial pain or Neuromuscular Dentistry give the final and definitive diagnosis, and suggest the most suitable treatment plan.

There is a lot of skepticism about TMJ treatment in the medical society and that is simply due to the fact that physicians didn't receive the dental training and didn't acquire the knowledge required for such complicated diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, many dentists rush into treating TMJ thinking that they can cure these problems, only to find that they lack the skill and experience to get the job done.

We have training and experience in the treatment of these problems with outstanding success rates. With highly advanced equipment and a high level of knowledge, we address your concerns and provide the best diagnosis for the optimal treatment.

Undiagnosed TMJ/TMD

Many patients who suffer from TMD symptoms, were never told that it is related to their TMJ problem and were not aware that treating their TMJ could easily relieve their suffering. To explain this further...

Headaches and Migraines

If you suffer from headaches or migraines, TMJ dysfunction, could be the major and most likely cause of your suffering. Your doctors, including neurologists, have simply not received the dental training required to relate your migraine or headache pain to your TMJ problems. Once you rule out any brain tumors or aneurysms, TMJ should be checked and TMD should be treated to relieve the headaches and migraines.

Ear congestion

Due to the proximity of TMJ to the ears, it is very common for the ears to feel congestion, or to have ringing in the ears when the TMJ bones move or dislocate from their place. In this case, ENT's (ear doctors) won't find anything wrong with the ears, yet the patients keep complaining about their ears. Once the TMJ is put back into its natural position, the pressure put on the ears will be relieved and the congestion disappears.

Tingling or Numbness in the Fingers

When the TMJ is not in a balanced position, it affects the general posture of the body. When the posture is not straight and upright, the nerves coming out from the spine could be irritated, which could cause the numbness or tingling feeling in the fingertips.

Jaw Tracking

We use a state-of-the-art jaw tracking system that helps diagnose TMJ Dysfunction (TMD) by tracking the jaw movement. Research shows that there are certain jaw movements which show very specific types of TMJ dysfunction. For example, limited opening and closing or locking, jaw opening deviations and deflections, and restricted side-to-side jaw movements. All of these indications are widely accepted and published criteria for diagnosing TMD.

Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA)

The Joint Vibration Analysis (or JVA) has been accepted by the American Dental Association to help provide a fast, non-invasive method to accurately diagnose TMJ function and demonstrate the severity level of the problem.

Electromyographic Analysis (EMG)

We use an Electromyographic Analysis (or EMG) to measure muscle activity on head and neck muscles both at rest and in function. This is done by placing computerized sensors on the skin allowing us to accurately monitor muscle activity. Hyperactive muscles are common for patients experiencing pain symptoms associated with TMJ problems. Imbalances between right and left sides of the same sets of muscles are also typical. The EMG system is a safe and comfortable method do help detect such issues and getting to the root of a TMJ issue.

Neuromuscular TMJ Treatment

TMJ/TMD is treatable most of the time. Simple cases of TMJ can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and a hot/moist compress.

Treatment for more complex cases usually consist of two phases:

Treatment of complex TMJ - Phase One:

Generally speaking, it includes the fabrication of an orthotic. An orthotic is an acrylic device that is worn on the lower teeth 24 hours a day. The orthotic is designed to reposition the jaw to the correct neuromuscular position. We analyze the bite, decide which muscles are causing the pain, and where the current position of the bone is and the disc. All this is done with the aid of advanced equipment like the TENS unit, K7 jaw tracking, Sonography, EMG's and advanced x-rays like Tomography, CT Scans and MRI's of the TMJ. This will help us determine the best and most comfortable position of the TMJ and the muscles. Once that position is determined, we place the orthotic on the lower teeth to keep the TMJ in that position. Orthotics usually are worn for 4-6 months or until most of the symptoms are relieved. Once an orthotic is in use, the symptoms start gradually disappearing until we reach a point that both the doctor and the patient are satisfied with. This concludes Phase I of the treatment.

Treatment of Complex TMJ - Phase Two:

After 4-6 months of relief and when the patient is no longer suffering from any TMD symptoms, Phase II will be considered. Phase II includes any of the following:

  1. Wearing a long term removable orthotic, full time or part time.
  2. Replace missing teeth.
  3. Orthodontic treatment (Braces).
  4. Restore all the lower and/or upper teeth with crowns and veneers to preserve the optimal occlusion (bite) that was achieved with the orthotic in phase I.

Most of the time, any of the above could be considered and chosen, depending on the patients' preferences and financial capability. If you are currently suffering from TMD, it is too early to think of phase II at this time, since it is important to get you out of your pain and symptoms.

Treating TMJ/TMD Caused by Dentures:

Many patients complain that when they received dentures, they noticed pain in the jaw, headaches, ear problems and other symptoms. Sometimes taking the dentures out will relieve those symptoms. If your dentures are not made to the correct bite, or vertical dimension, it will most likely cause these symptoms. Simple adjustments could get rid of these symptoms, but sometimes a whole new set of dentures need to be made according to the neuromuscular principles, to rid you of your headaches or jaw pain.

Orthotics or Bite Splints

An orthotic is an acrylic device that is worn on the lower teeth 24 hours a day. It is designed to reposition the jaw to the correct neuromuscular position.

An orthotic, sometimes called a Bite Splint, is a very effective method in relieving TMD symptoms. It provides an acrylic platform to bite against, sometimes moving the mandible to a new position that is more comfortable.




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What Is A Dental Implant?

An implant is a titanium "root" which can be placed into the jawbone. Once integrated with your bone, the implant can be used to support a crown, a bridge, or secure a complete denture. Dental implants may be used to eliminate partial plates and dentures. The success rates for dental implants are extremely high which is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Dental implant treatment represents a slightly greater investment than conventional treatment; however, the benefits of implant therapy for most patients outweigh the minor additional cost involved





Dental Implant FAQ

What is a Dental Implant?

Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. the success rates for dental implants are extremely high. This is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements. Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth. back to index

Why are Dental Implants the best option?

Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Unlike bridges, partials and dentures, a dental implant replaces the lost tooth root, which will prevent jaw bone resorption that occurs with bridges, partials and dentures. The loss of tooth roots will cause a change of the smile and contours of the face over time. A bridge, once the common single tooth replacement method, requires the alteration of each neighboring healthy tooth, which is cut down and shaped to accept a crown. With a dental implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth. The lost root and crown is replaced leaving neighboring healthy teeth in place. Removable partials connect to healthy teeth by hooks. Partials may be removed for cleaning and may need to be replaced often. A partial hooks connected to healthy teeth will create tooth stress and will loosened the healthy teeth over time. Full arch dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging. back to index

How will my teeth look and feel?

A single tooth supported by an implant is like turning back the clock of time. The implant replaces the natural tooth root so the jaw bone and supportive gum tissue is as vibrant as ever. Multiple single implants may support single teeth or an implant supported bridge. Dental implants may also support the base for full arch dentures to attach to which provides the look, feel and function of natural teeth. Dental implant treatments is the only tooth replacement solution that prevents jaw bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural and in some cases, change your facial appearance. The long term esthetics of dental implants are superior to any other treatment option. back to index

Am I a candidate for Dental Implant treatment?

If you are missing one or more teeth and in general good health you are a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few qualifying factors that need to be addressed:

  1. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement.
  2. Uncontrollable diabetes or other medical conditions.

Overall, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment. Even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment; although, an additional procedure(s) to add bone or to create new bone may be necessary. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment. back to index

Is my age a factor for Dental Implant treatment?

Providing your overall health is good there is really no age restriction. The desire to improve your quality of life is frankly a more important consideration than age. It is not unusual for people with dentures to upgrade to implant supported dentures. It provides a renewed self-confidence in their smile and speech and also provides renewed chewing stability, plus brings back foods into their life that were once off limit.back to index

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Traditional treatment may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone in which the implants are placed. If an additional procedure is required in order to augment the bone, the total treatment time may be between six to nine months. Some implant candidates may qualify for Immediate Load / Immediate Function procedures, also known as "same day implants". back to index

Is a dental implant procedure painful?

Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than they expected and is no more remarkable than having a root canal or like having a tooth extracted. Of course you are anesthetized during the procedure, and although everyone's pain tolerance is different, most patients are very comfortable simply taking over-the-counter analgesics afterward. back to index

How long do Dental Implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be permanent; however, there are a few factors that may contribute to the long term success of dental implant treatment, such as the original quality of the surgical and restorative treatment, proper home care and regular check-up visits to your dentist or dental specialist. Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates over 95%. Dental implants have been around for over 30 years and have closely documented clinical research that demonstrates that dental implants will be successful throughout the lifetime of a patient. By comparison, research also demonstrates that the average tooth supported bridge (conventional dentistry) lasts from 7-10 years and that partials and dentures are functional for approximately 5 years before having to replace the appliance.back to index

Can a dental implant work with existing dentures?

Every patient's situation is unique; however, from time-to-time we can use an existing denture by altering the denture to accommodate the necessary denture attachments to fit the implants.

What is the difference between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown and bridge?

There are several differences.

  1. A dental implant preserves jaw bone.
  2. We do not have to destroy neighboring health teeth by grinding down the teeth to pegs in order to accept a crown.
  3. Implants last longer than traditional crown and bridge. Implants are designed to last a lifetime, while a traditional crown and bridge is projected to last approximately 10 years and may need to be replaced.

Although dental implants have become the standard of care, they are more expensive than old tooth replacement methods. They are a better choice for the money; however, some dentists still recommend traditional tooth supported bridges for patients due to their own comfort level, or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement. Most dentists today detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.

When should a tooth be extracted and replaced with a Dental Implant?

There are times when it makes sense to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant.

  1. If a natural tooth is failing or about to fail.
  2. If a tooth has severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports the teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with a dental implant.
  3. When a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.

Do dental implants require special care?

Home care for a dental implant single tooth or for a dental implant crown and bridge is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing, flossing and regularly schedule hygiene appointments as directed by your dentist. Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges. If a surgical specialists who placed the implant(s) is involved, they may want to see you at least once each year in addition to your regular dentist. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment.back to index

What is the cost of Dental Implant Treatment?

The actual cost of dental implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result. The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with your dental specialist. The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years. back to index

Is Dental Implant treatment covered by my insurance?

Dental insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on your individual policy. Dental benefits are determined by the amount an employer is willing to spend on the policy. Generally, dental policies cover basic routine preventive maintenance, basic care and emergencies. Most insurance plans only cover the basics with an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500. Most insurance plans do not include dental implant coverage; however, often they will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for alternative benefits. You should review your dental insurance plan and your medical insurance plan to see the coverages. Medical coverage is very rare and Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.back to index




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Implant Placement

In order to place an implant, a couple of steps must be taken:

1) An incision is made into the gums using very precise measurements, then using a very small drill, the jawbone is given a "tap" that will allow the implant to be placed. After the implant is screwed into place, the gums are closed up and the healing process begins. This process can take approximately three to six months to ensure the implant has fused with the bone and created a sturdy base for the new teeth.

2) When the implant is ready, an abutment is attached to the implant, which allows for a new crown to be placed or a denture to be attached.




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Single Tooth Dental Implant

Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit.

A single tooth implant procedure may be done if a tooth has been extracted or is missing. A titanium implant base is placed into the jawbone to resemble the tooth root. We allow a period of time for the jawbone to heal over the implant base before fitting for a crown.


Next, an abutment is screwed into the base of the implant to allow for a crown to be fitted on top. Finally, a custom fabricated crown is placed over the abutment to function like a real tooth.




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Multiple Tooth Implants

Multiple tooth implants may be placed if you need or desire to permanently replace an extracted or lost tooth. Titanium implant bases are placed into the jawbone to replace the job of the tooth roots. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the bases before fitting for a crown. Next, abutments are screwed into the bases of the implants to allow crowns to be attached. Finally, custom fabricated crowns are placed over the abutments and will function like a real tooth.





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