Dental Implants

Edward Shukovsky, DMD—our experienced dentist in Stamford—believes that when there is the unfortunate loss of a single tooth, that tooth should be restored to a very high standard – the replacement should look, feel, and function just like the natural tooth. Today, there are several options for replacing a tooth, including a partial denture, a dental bridge, or a dental implant. Dr. Shukovsky typically recommends dental implants for his patients with missing teeth, and is experienced administering dental implant restorations.

Partial dentures are removable and put negative forces on the existing teeth. A dental bridge must rely on the adjacent teeth to be effective. Very often these teeth are compromised themselves and would not support a bridge. Or, these adjacent teeth have no restorations and are in excellent shape, and it would be a crime to have to reduce them (necessary for the placement of a dental crown) just to place the bridge. Dental implants are stand-alone restorations that are designed to provide support for a lifetime. To learn more about dental implants, contact our practice today.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Individuals who are missing one or more teeth can often benefit from dental implants. However, this advanced restorative option may not be right for everyone. Dr. Edward Shukovsky works closely with each of our patients to help them determine if this treatment is the best solution for their individual situation. Below are some of the candidacy requirements he takes into consideration when consulting with patients seeking dental implants for permanent tooth replacement:

  • One or more missing or damaged teeth
  • Adequate bone density in the jaw (necessary for accommodating the implant)
  • In good overall health and free of any conditions that may inhibit proper healing
  • Fully developed jawbone
  • Reasonably healthy gum tissue
  • Not currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment

If you are considered an appropriate candidate, Dr. Shukovsky can create a personalized treatment plan and have high-quality dental implant restorations custom-made specifically for you. His close partnership with our talented dental lab ensures that each of our dental implant patients receive beautiful restorations designed to look, feel, and function like their natural teeth. If you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants, Dr. Shukovsky can talk with you about other options (described in the Dental Implant Alternatives section below) which may be effective solutions for your needs.

Dental implants can be an excellent way to revitalize your smile while improving your ability to speak and eat. To find out if this treatment is right for you, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shukovsky. During your appointment, he will conduct a thorough exam to assess your overall health, gum health, and jawbone density. Based on your exam, Dr. Shukovsky can help you select a restorative treatment that best addresses your unique needs.

What Is a Typical Dental Implant Procedure Like?

Prior to your procedure, certain treatment(s) may be necessary in order to ensure the success of your dental implants, such as extractions or periodontal care. Dr. Shukovsky will discuss these with you during your consultation.

For all dental implant cases, Dr. Shukovsky takes an integrated approach by working closely with a team of dental professionals, including oral surgeons Dr. Naushad Edibam and Dr. Donald Case, as well as periodontist Dr. Robert Chung. Together, they utilize their individual strengths to collaborate and create a comprehensive treatment plan designed to produce an ideal outcome for each patient.

Once preliminary treatments have been completed, the dental implant post—which acts like a natural tooth root—can be placed by one of the talented oral surgeons that Dr. Shukovsky works with. If desired, this process can be completed with sedation dentistry techniques to alleviate any potential dental anxiety.

Your dental implant post needs time to fuse to the jawbone, providing a strong support for your final restoration. This process is called osseointegration, and it takes approximately six months. During this time, a temporary crown can be placed atop the implant post. Once the post is securely anchored to the jawbone, your custom-made dental crown can be attached. The crown is designed to look and feel like a natural tooth, and can even be color-matched to blend seamlessly with your surrounding teeth. This durable restoration will ultimately function like the rest of your teeth, and can be cared for in the same way—no special oral care routine necessary!

Implant Dentistry and the Loss of a Single Tooth

Replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is currently the most advanced solution for tooth loss. Dr. Shukovsky believes strongly that the placement of the actual implant is in the domain of either a board-certified oral surgeon or a board-certified periodontist. These are the professionals that perform surgeries every day and are totally familiar with the anatomy, and the latest in implant products and techniques. It is important to have the dental implant placed in exactly the correct position so that the new tooth will look the most natural. The goal here is to have the most natural-looking tooth possible.

Dr. Shukovsky likens dental implant placement to the building of a house. If the foundation is not correct, the house will never be right. Once the dental implant is in place, Dr. Shukovsky can then restore the implant. This is as much an art as it is science. The goals are:

  • To make sure the emergence profile is correct so that the tooth appears to be coming out of the tissue rather than sitting on top of it.
  • To mimic the proper size and shape of this tooth to the rest of the teeth in the mouth.
  • The shade of the tooth should be harmonious with the adjacent teeth.
  • The restored implant tooth should be in proper occlusion, or alignment.
  • The restored implant tooth should have the proper contacts with the adjacent teeth to ensure that there is no food impaction.

There is nothing pleasant about a newly restored tooth that allows lots of food to be caught between the adjacent teeth.

Restoring a dental implant requires a great deal of skill on many levels. It is imperative that the dentist has an excellent laboratory that he can communicate with. Dr. Shukovsky prides himself in his relationship with his dental laboratory. As he states, “My lab is my partner.”

Implant Dentistry and the Loss of Multiple Teeth

Multiple tooth loss brings on a set of concerns that go beyond the loss of a single tooth. The questions Dr. Shukovsky will ask include: are the missing teeth, or soon-to-be missing teeth, adjacent to one another? How many teeth are involved and where are they located?

Remember, the goal is to attain the most natural-looking, functional restoration. In a complex system such as the mouth, the proper placement of multiple implants is essential. This is why Dr. Shukovsky utilizes the expertise of the oral surgeon and periodontist for placement of the implant before he administers restorations. This collaboration is a “meeting of the minds” in order to get the best result for the patient.

Implant Dentistry and the Overdenture

There are times that patients have lost or will lose so many teeth that they require the fabrication of a full denture. Very often, however, dentures are loose and unstable, especially in the lower jaw. Implants can be placed strategically under the new or existing denture for that stabilization. These are called overdentures, or implant dentures.

Sometimes it only takes two or four dental implants to give great retention and stabilization to the denture. This results in a much greater ability for the patient to chew and swallow their food, the most important function of the teeth. If this ability is compromised, weight loss, poor health, and depression can occur.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to be durable and long-lasting. If proper oral hygiene is maintained through daily brushing and flossing (as well as regular dental check-ups), your dental implant(s) may never need to be replaced. Damage to the attached dental crown is rare, but if you experience chips, cracks, or other wear and tear, we can repair it or replace it with a new custom crown.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dr. Shukovsky and the team of professionals with whom he collaborates prioritize the safety of treatment above all other considerations. When dental implant procedures are performed by individuals who are skilled, experienced, and highly-qualified in the field of implant dentistry, the potential for dental implant problems and complications can be significantly reduced. With this in mind, it is important to remember that oral surgery is a necessary component of dental implant procedures, and all types of surgery carry a certain degree of risk. In addition to the experience, talents, and care embodied by our dental team, our use of advanced treatment planning technology helps us minimize the risk of implant failure or other possible complications. We will explain all aspects of the dental implant procedure, including the benefits and risks associated with this treatment, beforehand so you have a full understanding prior to treatment.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

The dental implant treatment process should not involve excessive discomfort. In fact, it may come as a surprise to learn that a local anesthetic is typically all that is required to minimize pain—even during the oral surgery part of the treatment! That said, some patients who suffer from dental anxiety understandably want to make extra sure that they will feel comfortable during the dental implant procedure, so we offer sedation dentistry techniques that can provide significant relaxation.

Are There Alternatives to Dental Implants?

Some patients may not be the best candidates for dental implants, while others may desire a different solution for missing teeth replacement. Fortunately, there are other restorative treatment options, such as implant dentures, traditional dentures, or dental bridges, that may be ideal alternative solutions. Implant dentures can be an option for patients who need replacement for an entire row of teeth. These treatments utilize just a few dental implants that are placed in areas of the mouth that prove to have adequate jawbone density. A custom denture is then fitted to the implants, which can ultimately produce a stable denture and results that function and look very much like natural teeth. We also offer more traditional types of dentures that can serve as a good alternative to implants. Conventional dentures are customized to each patient’s needs to provide an excellent fit and effective teeth replacement. For some individuals, a dental bridge may be the best treatment. Dental bridges can be ideal for patients with a large gap created between two natural teeth after the loss of one or more teeth in-between. A bridge utilizes a combination of artificial teeth and dental crowns to securely fill that gap with results that look like natural teeth.

Dr. Shukovsky will be happy to answer any questions you may have about possible alternatives to dental implants during your initial consultation.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Most patients spend approximately $1,500 to $4,000 per dental implant. That being said, the overall cost of dental implants depends on your individual treatment plan—factors such as the amount of dental implants being placed, the complexity of your case, and whether or not preliminary treatments are needed can ultimately determine the price. Additional considerations that may affect your final cost include:

  • The type of materials used
  • Your insurance coverage
  • Implant placement location
  • The dentist’s level of experience

Ultimately, dental implants are an investment in your oral health, and cost should not stand in the way. To help minimize any concerns related to the price of this treatment, we provide patients with financing options through reputable companies such as Care Credit® and LendingClub®. If desired, our knowledgeable staff can help you apply for a monthly payment plan with little or no interest.

Contact Us to Learn More about Dental Implants

Dr. Shukovsky has spent the last 30 years working with his patients in a thoughtful, caring manner to attain the most superior results. Contact our office today to set up a consultation regarding dental implants.

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