Drs. Witrock & Axelrod, LLP
Creating Beautiful Smiles
Call: 1(631)928-2830

Dental Implants

Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. Implants can replace a single tooth, a group of teeth, or a full arch of teeth. Dental implants can also be used under dentures, snapping to them to help hold the dentures firmly in place.


Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw. Crowns and/or bridges are then placed on top of the implants.


Reasons for dental implants:

· Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.

· Restore a patient’s confident smile.

· Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.

· Restore or enhance facial tissues.

· Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

Our philosophy, and what is involved in getting implants?


Implant treatment should always begin with a consultation and treatment plan from the restorative dentist, a prosthodontist, who will ultimately fabricate the teeth on the implants. Generally, there are multiple options regarding the teeth that will be placed on the implants. These options might include choices such as using porcelain verses acrylic teeth; will the teeth be individual, or connected; will the teeth be screwed, cemented, or snapped to the implants; as well as the number of implants required, and the best position and angulations for them bases on the options a patient prefers. Wise planning in the beginning always leads to better outcomes.


The restorative dentist will then refer to patient to a surgeon (if the patient does not already have one) for the implant placement. Sometimes special x-rays or scans are used to visualize the patient’s jaws in 3-D prior to placing the implants. Often the restorative dentist also provides a surgical guide to aid with the exact placement of the implants, helping to insure the best possible esthetic and functional results. Again, wise planning in the beginning always leads to better outcomes.


While the actual placement procedure may vary slightly from patient to patient, depending on the complexity of the case, most patients are surprised that the experience is much simpler that they expected. Although implant placement can usually be done with local anesthetic only, most surgeons offer the option of sedation for patients who would prefer to be asleep during the procedure.


Sometimes a temporary tooth (or teeth) can be placed on the implant immediately after the implant is placed. In those situations we coordinate appointments with the surgeon so that the patient can come to our office right from the surgeon. In other situations there is a waiting period of two to six months before the implants can be used. Alternate temporary solutions are available in those cases.


We feel that it is very important that any implant procedure begin with planning and consultation with the prosthodontist, as he will be the architect and “builder” of the project. Unfortunately, we sometimes see patients who have had implants placed before the final treatment has been completely planned. This is similar to laying the foundation for a house before a final plan for the building is complete. It often severely limits the options the patient will have.


We also encourage the patient to discuss the implant system that will be used as well as the materials used in the fabrication of the teeth. We prefer either the Nobelbiocare (Branemarck) system or the Strauman system. Although there are many reputable systems available, these are the two premier systems in the U.S. and the world. They offer excellent customer support when necessary and we are confident that spare parts and components will always be available. Over the years, newer and less established companies have gone out of business, creating problems for patients who need additional components for repairs or modifications. Additionally, we use only genuine parts and components from the implant manufacturer. Although they cost slightly more, they fit more accurately than the generically available copies which are also available.


In our office we always enjoy the opportunity to consult, evaluate, and educate patients about the dental implant process and options that are available. If a patient decides that dental implants are right for them we will help and guide them through the process as simple as possible and to achieve the best results.