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Joanne Reffe Fishbane, DMD | FAQ in West Windsor

Joanne Reiffe Fishbane, DMD

Princeton Junction Dentistry

609-275-5400

FAQ
 

What are dental implants?

People often refer to a dental implant as a replacement tooth, but it is actually a metal post or appliance that replaces the patient’s tooth root or roots. Once the artificial root or roots are in, replacement teeth are put in place and thus anchored firmly to the bone by the implant. The patient’s new teeth look, feel and work just like natural teeth. There are several types of dental implants suited to various dental conditions.

Do I have to go to more than one doctor to get dental implants?

There are very few dentists who can both place the implants and make and attach the teeth into the implants. Few dentists are qualified to do all the steps of implant dentistry from start to finish. Usually the implant is placed by a periodontist or oral surgeon after consultation with the general dentist who places the final restoration.

What are the benefits of implants?

Dental implants are an alternative for:

  • The patient who cannot function comfortably with conventional dentures.
  • The patient who has lost teeth and wants to avoid removable partial dentures.
  • The patient who needs a fixed bridge  but doesn’t want to damage his or her adjacent healthy teeth.
  • The person who wants to have the dental solution that is the closest to what Mother Nature created.

 

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

Because of recent advances in implant technology, more and more people are implant candidates-although many people may be told they are not. The only way to know for certain is to be evaluated by a practitioner who has received advanced training in implant dentistry, Typically, if a patient s healthy enough to undergo fixed bridgework procedures or routine extractions, he or she can also undergo dental implant procedures.

What does the dental implant procedure involve?

Most implants can be placed by a trained dentist in one or two visits. Further visits will also be needed to fit the replacement teeth, which fasten to the implants. Most insertions can be performed under the same local anesthesia used for routine fillings. Medication so the patient can sleep during the procedure is available with oral conscious Sedation or IV sedation. Temporary teeth are usually placed until permanent replacements are made so that patients can lead normal lives during the interim.

How long does an implant last?

Implants have remained in place for 30 years or longer. We recommend a preventive maintenance program to help insure the long term success of your implants and teeth.

How much does an implant cost as compared to other advanced forms of dentistry?

The cost of implant dentistry is comparable to that of fixed bridgework or other advanced dental procedures in most cases.

Do implants require any special care?

Dental implants and accompanying replacement teeth should be cared for in the same way as natural teeth. Although they cannot get decay, they are still subject to gum disease in the same way natural teeth are.

How long will I be off work?

Generally we recommend the day of the implant placement and the day after. Most of our patients are back to work the next day after implant placement. It is an individual decision.

What is esthetic or cosmetic dentistry?

Esthetic or cosmetic dentistry involves the current technologies available to improve your smile. A smile can be the most eye catching feature of a face. Because of the many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped or misshapen teeth. Procedures that are currently being done include: bleaching, or tooth whitening, bonding, veneers and enamel shaping. You can take action to help make your smile an asset. Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel about yourself.

Is tooth whitening safe?

Bleaching procedures are safe and approved by the American Dental Association. Bleaching does not wear away any tooth structure or make a tooth more susceptible to staining.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal diseases (also known as gum diseases) are infections of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. If periodontal problems are not treated they can become severe and may eventually lead to tooth loss.

If periodontal disease is such a problem, why doesn’t it hurt?

This is, unfortunately, a very good question. Periodontal problems can become quite serious and extremely advanced without any pain whatsoever. That is why it is so important to be attentive to the warning signs - bleeding gums  when brushing and flossing, swollen gums, receded gums, teeth changing position, pus or swelling around gums - to name a few.

What is sleep apnea and do I need a sleep study to get an anti-snoring device?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep related breathing disorder characterized by sleep disrupting snoring. Symptoms include: excessive sleepiness, an increased risk of accidents, an impaired quality of life and possible high blood pressure. Correcting this problem, if it is only minor, can be achieved through weight loss and head positional changes during sleep. More complex cases utilize a device called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Oral appliance therapy is a popular alternative to a CPAP device. To properly diagnose sleep apnea a sleep study is required, we will refer you to a sleep study center.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through, which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

Great tooth and gum care starts at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis.   By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended.  During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and oral hygiene protocol for home care.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms.  It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’.  The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  If not properly treated, the condition worsens.  Noticeable symptoms now appear.  They include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Recession
  • Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Loss


How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention.  Through a series of periodontal cleanings, root planing & scaling, laser therapy and local antibiotics, this condition can be controlled.  Periodontal surgery is only necessary for severe cases.

What is the Difference Between a White and Silver Filling?

Silver fillings, known as amalgam, have been around for decades.  They are made from a metal alloy and were, for a long time, the best restoration for fillings.  The metal expands and contracts based on the temperature of food and drink you consume.  This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.

White fillings, also known as composites, are made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure.  This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay.  Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.

How Can I Improve My Smile?
There are several ways in today’s dental world to enhance your smile.  Certain procedures include:  

  • Tooth Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns

 

We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For an exact consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile.  Over the years, flouride has been added to the whitening product.  This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity. 

Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly.  Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect.  Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

What is Bonding?


Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color.  The immediate results are amazing.  Within a few hours, you will have a great smile!  Bonding, like tooth whitening, may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits.   Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth.  This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile.  Many times, patients ask for porcelain veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that cover the entire tooth.  It will change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits. 

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root.  Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone.  There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure.  After a period of a few months, the dental implant and the bone fuse together.  This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant. 
 

Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?

With major advancements in dentistry and dental implants, most people are candidates for dental implants.  There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.  

What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?

The average dental implant procedure takes 3 - 4 visits.  The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the implant.  
The next visit is to place the implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area (any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist).   The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone.  The area will then be covered with sutures.  The procedure is usually completed with little to no pain.

You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the porcelain crown to place over the implant.

How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?

Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist.  Always schedule an implant consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

How long does a Dental Implant last?

With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a dental implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.

Does your office offer financing for services provided?

Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!

 
 
 
West Windsor Dentist | FAQ. Joanne Fishbane is a West Windsor Dentist.