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Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Implantology talk Dental Implants

Dental implants serve more than just a cosmetic purpose.

They not only restore an attractive smile, but also preserve the surrounding teeth and bone. Ultimately, they provide the function of a regular tooth.

“An implant is definitely important from a functional standpoint,” says Michael Graffeo, D.D.S., a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon with Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Implantology. “If an implant is not placed, studies show that people have a greater predisposition to lose the adjacent teeth and bone.

In other words, a domino effect can occur: If you lose a tooth on the bottom, the tooth on top, which is no longer touching anything when your mouth is closed, will move down, creating the risk of still more tooth loss.

Both Dr. Graffeo and Harrison Linsky, D.D.S., M.D. – also a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon at Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Implantology – have had years of surgical training in restoring form and function to both the jaws and face. They use that expertise to correctly place the implant in the jaw. The insertion of the implant generally takes about an hour and can be done under local or general anesthesia in their brand-new, state-of-the-art facility based in Purchase, NY.

The facility boasts a cone beam CT – a special radiograph instrumentation that allows the doctors to see exactly the location of all vital structures in 3-D and to determine the density of the jaw bones.

Drs. Graffeo and Linsky will first perform a complete examination to evaluate whether you are a candidate for an implant. If you’ve lost a tooth or teeth years ago, portions of the jawbone may have atrophied; in this case, they can perform bone grafting procedures to support the implant. If you’ve lost a tooth recently, a timely visit to Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Implantology should be scheduled to evaluate the jaw before too much bone is lost.

In the past, bridges were employed to replace missing teeth, but they required cutting down adjacent healthy teeth and putting crowns on them. Today, titanium dental implants, which emulate the root structure of a tooth, can target just the area where the missing tooth is, providing the foundation for a natural looking and fully functioning prosthetic tooth.

For those who have lost multiple teeth, or even all of their teeth, dental implants serve as an anchor for a more natural, stable denture or porcelain teeth.

A dental implant is actually a three-step process, Dr. Graffeo explains. A socket is created where the missing tooth was, and a titanium component is placed in the jawbone. Bone then forms around the implant. A support post is screwed into the implant, and on top of the post, a crown is placed. A restorative dentist carefully creates the crown to match your other teeth.

With a series of short office visits, you can restore complete function – and a complete smile.

“A dental implant is the most ideal solution for a missing tooth,” Dr. Graffeo says.

To schedule an appointment to find out if dental implants are right for you, contact Westchester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Implantology at 914-251-0313. More information can be found online at www.oralsurgeryofwestchester.com.

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