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Your Smile, Your Choice: Here's What Staten Island Needs to Know About Dental Implants

When dental bridges and dentures aren’t good enough, Staten Island can turn to dental implants – a more sturdy, stable, and permanent remedy to missing teeth.

It’s funny how some things that used to be milestones when we were kids are more like nightmares now that we’re adults – and losing a tooth is a perfect example of what we’re talking about when we say that. 

Growing up, losing a tooth was the coolest thing ever. 

Not only was it a normal part of the natural aging process, but it often resulted in a visit from the Tooth Fairy – which meant anywhere from $1 to $5 under our pillow and bragging rights among our friends. 

And if you were sad to see your tooth gone, it wasn’t the end of the world…

Because you had a brand new adult tooth growing in right behind it!

But that was then – and this is now. 

As an adult, your teeth don’t grow back. And instead of a visit by the Tooth Fairy and money under your pillow, you end up with a trip to your Staten Island dentist, a bill in the mail, and a giant gap in your smile.

It’s not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination. 

But don’t worry – it’s still not the end of the world. With dental implants, you can fill in those gaps, replace those missing teeth, restore functionality of the mouth, and finally show off that beautiful smile of yours.  

Piece by Piece: Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Dental Implant

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of biocompatible materials (typically titanium) that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to provide a strong and stable foundation for replacement teeth. 

It’s not just replacing the crown of the tooth, but it’s replacing the entire root with it. 

With that said, there are three primary components of a dental implant – the implant fixture, abutment, and crown – and they each play an important role in the stability, appearance, and function of the implant.

  • The implant fixture, also known as the implant body, is a screw-like titanium post that fuses with the jawbone to serve as the artificial root of the replacement tooth.  
  • The abutment is a connector that sits on top of the implant fixture and protrudes above the gum line – serving as the attachment point for the new tooth and artificial root.
  • The dental crown is the top part of the prosthetic tooth that mimics the appearance of a natural tooth. It’s made from materials like porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys.

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or multiple teeth, and can even act as an artificial root for dentures (also known as implant-supported dentures) or a bridge (AKA an implant-supported bridge).

Step by Step: The 5 Stages of Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery isn’t something that can be completed in just one visit to your dentist. And since each step has its own healing phase, it could be months before you get to enjoy your new pearly whites. 

It might take a little patience, but trust us – it’s well worth the wait. 

And don’t worry – your dental support team will be right by your side every step of the way. From the initial consultation to the crown placement and aftercare stage, your dental implants are in good hands.

With that said, let’s take a step-by-step look at what you’re getting yourself into. 

Stage 1: Tooth Extraction & Healing

The first step – after your initial consultation, of course – is to extract the existing damaged or decaying tooth (or teeth). This includes a thorough cleaning of the extraction site to avoid and prevent an infection.

If your tooth is already missing, then extraction won’t be necessary. 

It only takes about 30 minutes to extract a tooth, but it can take well over an hour if you have several teeth to pull. Once pulled, the affected area will need to heal before your dentist can move on to the next step. 

Stage 2: Bone Grafting & Healing 

In order for dental implant surgery to work, your jawbone must have enough bone density to support the implant fixture. If your jawbone isn’t strong enough, there’s a chance the implant won’t fuse to the bone. 

And if that’s the case, you’ll need a bone graft before proceeding. 

Bone grafting involves adding bone or bone-like materials to a part of the jaw where bone has been lost or where additional support is needed. 

Stage 3: Implanting the Screw

Once the extraction site and bone graft heal, a dental implant is placed into the jawbone, acting as the “root” for the new tooth that will be mounted to it.

After the implant is placed, the process of osseointegration begins.

Over the next few months, new bone cells begin to grow on and around the implant surface – gradually in the gaps between the dental implant and the surrounding bone. 

Stage 4: Abutment Placement 

Once osseointegration is complete and the implant is fused to the jawbone, your dentist (Dr. Joseph Cipriano) attaches the abutment (a connector piece) to the implant.

In some cases, a temporary abutment healing cap is used while the affected area heals.

After the gum tissue has healed sufficiently around the healing abutment, the dentist replaces it with the permanent abutment – which is screwed onto the implant fixture and serves as the main connection point.

Stage 5: Finishing With the Crown

Now that the gum tissue has healed around the abutment, your doctor can begin taking impressions of the abutment and surrounding teeth to fabricate the custom-made prosthetic tooth (dental crown).

The crown is designed to match the color, shape, and size of the natural teeth. 

All that’s left to do is attach the crown to the abutment, and smile away! It might take you a few months to get to this point, but your new dental implants can last a lifetime if maintained properly!

Your Best Smile Yet: Discover the Difference at Healthy Smiles

Have you recently lost a tooth (or teeth)? Are you looking for a more permanent solution than dental bridges and dentures? Do you want to avoid the bone loss that comes with most dental alternatives? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to Healthy Smiles – where Staten Island can learn to love their smile again. 

Our experienced team of dental professionals is dedicated to providing personalized care, from the initial consultation to the final restoration. We aren’t just restoring your smile – we’re restoring your confidence!

Feel free to contact us today at (718) 948-1600 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Cipriano.