Dr. Maurice Edwards - With Dr. Edwards, oral surgery doesn't have to be a pain
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Implant FAQ's

Do you have questions about the surgical procedures, treatments or services that we offer?

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but please feel free to call our office if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.

What are dental Implants

Dental implants are basically sophisticated screws made of a medically pure metal, Titanium. These screws are then placed in the jaw bone and rest under the gum for 3 - 6 months. During this time they actually fuse to the jawbone and become osseo(bone)integrated. After the appropriate healing time, we uncover the implants and use them to replace one or more missing teeth by fabricating some sort of dental prosthesis.

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Who is the ideal patient for dental implants?

Anyone in reasonable health who wants to replace missing teeth. You must have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide for the anchorage of the implants. Almost everyone today is an excellent candidate for dental implants to replace small bridges, removable partial dentures and even just one missing single tooth.

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What are implants made of?

Implants are made of commercially and medically pure Titanium. This is the same metal that has been successfully used in hip implants for many years. It is inert and is not known to cause any type of rejection phenomenon.

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Can implants be rejected?

No! They are made of an inert metal which has no history of rejection by the body. They are not a living organ such as the lung or liver and therefore there is no rejection phenomenon. If failure should occur, and this is only a remote possibility, it is mechanical in nature and not due to rejection by the body. By the way, depending on the source you read, implants are anywhere from 85-95 percent successful depending upon certain factors such as implant location, amount and quality of bone etc. These factors will be evaluated before we place your implants. If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the implant process, ask your dentist.

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What about infection and complications?

During the surgery every attempt is made to maintain a totally sterile field. This tends to minimize any potential for postoperative infection. Once again, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Once the implants have been engaged in your prosthesis, it is imperative for you to maintain scrupulous oral hygiene.

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Will I be able to chew and function normally?

Yes. Once your implants have integrated, you will be able to function normally without any unusual sensations. Your chewing ability will really depend upon the type of prosthesis you have chosen

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How long is the entire implant process?

Dental implants take approximately 3-4 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper to integrate. Once integrated, it takes several visits to several months to complete the restoration depending upon the complexity.

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Why must I fast prior to surgery?

Anesthesia depresses the normal gag reflex that prevents solids and liquid matter from entering our lungs. The process of reflux of material from the stomach into the trachea and lungs is called aspiration. Fortunately, the incidence is quite low. Assuring that the stomach is as empty as possible prior to anesthesia is a mainstay in aspiration reduction. This has been routinely accomplished by nothing to eat or drink after midnight, the day of surgery.

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What are some risks of anesthesia?

The rate of complications will vary with the health status of the patient and the magnitude of the procedure. The common side effects of general anesthesia include nausea, muscle aches and shivering postoperatively. The most severe complication, death is very rare.

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How am I monitored?

The monitors we use under general anesthesia depend on both the type of operation and the patient's medical condition. The minimal monitors under general anesthesia include: blood pressure, EKG, heart rate ,temperature, stethoscope and two monitors of breathing. The pulse oximeter(placed on the fingertips) measures the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (oxygen carrier) in your blood. This monitor has markedly improved the safety of anesthesia.

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What drugs do you use?

Anesthetic drugs are unique in that they are seldom used outside of the operating room setting. For induction of general anesthesia, the intravenous agent propofol is commonly used. It is shorter acting and associated with less nausea and vomiting compared with the many other choices. The general anesthetic state is maintained with a mixture of gases and intravenous agents. The trade names of the gases are forane, suprane and sevoflurane. They are administered from machines called vaporizers. Other classes of drugs are also used.

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Dr. Maurice Edwards, D.M.D.

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

41 East 57th Street, Suite 1204
New York, New York 10022

p: 212 888 8624 f: 212 838 5533