Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

Five dental implant candidates in a diagonal line smiling at the camera

Finally! There’s a way to replace missing teeth, or loose dentures, with teeth that look and feel just like your natural teeth.

But what’s the fine print? And more importantly, can anyone get dental implants?

To find out if you meet the requirements for dental implants, we’ll outline everything you need to know about dental implants in this article.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that support one or more artificial teeth. Dental implants can be used to support fixed (permanent) teeth, or support removable teeth like dentures. This restorative dental option is the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth.

In addition to replacing missing teeth, dental implants can help the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. How?

When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth tend to shift out of place, and the bone of the missing tooth begins to deteriorate. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone and helps stimulate bone growth.

If you’re already noticing signs of shifting teeth or bone deterioration due to a missing tooth, don’t worry. There are different dental implant options, which you and your dental provider can discuss.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

With advantages like these, it’s no wonder why many people choose dental implants over other dental replacement options:

  • Natural smile: Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. You’ll care for them just the same too: brush, floss, and get regular cleanings and checkups. Only you will know you have them.
  • Look younger: Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone, helps stimulate bone growth, and prevent bone loss. Having jawbone helps retain your natural face shape and smile for years to come.
  • Build confidence again: Unlike other replacement options, dental implants won’t slip or click when you talk, eat, laugh, or kiss. You’ll also find your speech is more natural than with dentures.
  • Eat whatever: Dentures can slide and cause discomfort when eating. But dental implants function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat virtually anything you want.
  • Proven success: Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years with a general success rate of 98 percent. When performed by an experienced dental implant doctor, the procedure is one of the safest and most predictable in dentistry.
  • Save money: With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Other dental replacement options may appear cheaper up front, but you will continue to pay that cost over and over, making them expensive in comparison.

Fun Fact: 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, and that number is growing by 500,000 annually.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

If you have one or more missing teeth – whether you were born without a tooth or had a tooth removed due to injury, infection or decay – then the answer is:

Yes, you are likely a candidate for dental implants.

However, many factors that go into how, when, and if you meet the requirements for dental implants, including:

  • Age: Children or adolescents may need to wait until their facial growth and development have been completed to ensure long term success. This stage is typically around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys.
  • Health: If you are a heavy smoker, suffer from uncontrolled chronic disorders like diabetes, or have had radiation therapy to your head or neck area then you will need to be evaluated on an individual basis by your dental provider.
  • Enough bone: If you are missing the necessary amount of supportive bone for a dental implant, then you may need a bone augmentation or alternative dental implant.

But for the best answer, based on your situation, you need to consult with your dental provider.

Are there different types of dental implants?

Just like teeth, dental implants come in different heights, sizes, and types. You and your dental provider will create an individualized treatment plan, which may include one of the following types of dental implants:

  • Endosteal: These dental implants are placed in the jawbone using a small screw, typically made of titanium. Endosteal is the most common type of dental implant.
  • Subperiosteal: These dental implants are placed on or above the jawbone (not in it). This type of implant may be used in patients who don’t have enough supportive bone or are unable to undergo a bone augmentation.

If you don’t have enough jawbone to support a dental implant, there are a few options:

  • Bone augmentation: This procedure uses bone additives and growth factors to restore or regenerate bone in your jaw, so that it can support an implant.
  • Sinus lift: This procedure adds bone below a sinus, where the bone has deteriorated due to missing upper teeth. A sinus lift is also called a sinus augmentation or sinus elevation.
  • Ridge expansion: If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, this procedure adds bone graft material to a small ridge, created along the top of your jaw.

What is the dental implant procedure?

The following dental implant procedure is based on an endosteal dental implant. But do remember, based on all the factors above, no two treatment plans will be alike.

  1. Consultation: Consult with your dental provider on an individualized treatment plan. This consultation may include associated costs, insurance coverage, and a timeline.
  2. Dental implant placement: A small titanium post is placed in your jawbone. Most people find this procedure less painful than a tooth extraction and return to work the next day. Anesthesia or sedation may be used to keep you comfortable.
  3. Healing process: Formally referred to as osseointegration, your jawbone will heal around the implant, forming a strong foundation. This process can take anywhere between six weeks to a few months.
  4. Abutment placement: Once healed, a small connector is placed on the dental implant, just above the gumline, to hold your new tooth or support your denture securely.
  5. Crown attachment: Based on the impression your dentist will have made, your new tooth will look and feel just like a natural tooth. This tooth formally referred to as a crown, is then attached to the abutment. Dentures attach to the abutment for support and can either be removable or permanently placed by your dentist.

Are dental implants worth it?

Take this quick quiz to find out for yourself:

  1. Do you want to replace one or more missing teeth?
  2. Do you want to retain your facial structure?
  3. Do you want to be able to eat whatever you want?
  4. Do you want to be confident about your smile and teeth?
  5. Do you want to save money in the long term?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then contact your dental provider today to discuss if dental implants are your best option.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Is Flying After Tooth Extraction Safe?

Traveler at airport looking out the window at planes taking off

If you’ve been told you’ll need a tooth extracted, you may feel there’s no “convenient” time to have it done. We all lead busy lives, and fitting a dental procedure into your busy schedule may be a challenge. For those who have a vacation or business trip coming up on the calendar, it could raise the question: Is flying after tooth extraction safe?

It normally takes a couple of days to recover after tooth extraction, so most dentists would recommend resting for at least 48 hours before flying. This enables you to get the rest you need to have a smooth recovery. While it’s technically safe to fly after most dental procedures, it may be especially uncomfortable to do so within the first 24-48 hours.

Dangers of flying after tooth extraction

It’s important to remember that flying can even cause minor pain and discomfort in healthy individuals who haven’t recently had dental work completed. Sinus pressure, headaches, and even toothaches can result from changes in altitude or cabin pressure. Any of these issues could be intensified for a person who has recently undergone tooth extraction.

If your tooth extraction appointment is within 24-48 hours of your dental appointment, be sure to chat with your dentist about the risks involved and what he or she recommends to minimize discomfort.

Talk to your dentist if you'll be flying 24-48 hours after any dental procedure

Be prepared!

If you will be flying soon after tooth extraction, there are a few things you can pack to be prepared:

  • Pain medication: Pack your prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication recommended by your dentist. You may want to take it prior to boarding the plane to lessen discomfort.
  • Extra gauze: If you choose to fly very soon after a procedure, you may still be in the window of time where you need to change your gauze periodically.
  • A refillable water bottle: You’ll want to avoid hot, cold, and acidic beverages (like coffee or soda) after tooth extraction, so it’s a good idea to pack a refillable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout your flight.
  • An empty resealable bag for an ice pack: If you experience pain or swelling mid-flight, a resealable baggie can be turned into a handy ice pack – simply ask the flight attendant for some ice and hold against your cheek for ten-minute intervals.
  • Your dental office’s phone number: Be sure to save your dentist’s phone number before traveling in case of unexpected pain, swelling, or other symptoms.

Tips to ease dental discomfort while traveling

In addition to packing the necessities listed above, there are a few other things you can do to lessen discomfort if you’re flying after tooth extraction.

The first is to try your best to have a stress-free flight. This can be a challenge since flying is stressful for most travelers! To help, bring along entertainment that will allow you to relax, whether it’s soothing music on your phone or your favorite movie on your tablet. Pack a light blanket and a travel pillow to help you get comfy in your seat.

Depending on how soon you fly after your dental procedure, you may still need to stick to soft foods (no crunchy airplane snacks allowed!). At the airport, grab some soft, easy-to-eat options like yogurt, a smoothie, or soup.

Happy traveling!

If possible, try to make sure a tooth extraction and a scheduled flight aren’t too close together on your schedule. As mentioned before, it’s generally safe to fly after most dental procedures, but it could be especially uncomfortable to do so too soon. After all, who wants to start a vacation out with a painful flying experience?

Most importantly, talk to your dentist about your vacation plans so he or she can help you know what to expect and to be prepared!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Options for Missing Teeth – Which is Right For You?

There are many options for missing teeth, which is the right one for you?

If you are dealing with missing teeth, you’ll understand the many problems they can cause. Eating certain foods is almost impossible, and you just don’t like the way you look when you smile. Photos are out of the question!

Fortunately, there are many excellent options available for replacing missing teeth. But which is the right one for you? We will discuss the three most common options and the benefits of each one. But first, let’s talk about why you should replace your missing teeth instead of just living with the “gaps.”

Why replace missing teeth?

Replacing missing teeth is important. Besides helping you to chew and speak clearly, teeth serve as placeholders. When one or more of those placeholders are missing, the surrounding teeth start to move. Eventually, you wind up with bite problems because your teeth no longer line up correctly.

Also, the gum tissue and bone beneath the gaps left by missing teeth will start to deteriorate, making the surrounding teeth weaker. This weakening can eventually lead to further tooth loss. Really, every tooth counts!

Options for single or multiple missing teeth

The best option for replacing your missing teeth depends on your budget, oral health, and personal choice. Depending on your circumstances, your dentist will likely recommend one of these three primary options to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth:

  1. Implants: An artificial replacement root is placed in the jaw bone and capped with a porcelain crown.
  2. Fixed bridges: A row of artificial teeth are held in place utilizing bonding or cementing to surrounding teeth.
  3. Dentures:  An entire arch of teeth, upper or lower, are replaced with a prosthetic embedded with replacement teeth.

Each of these options involves a very different dental process, treatment time, and cost.  They are all designed to provide lasting, natural-looking results.


Advantages: Implants provide one of the best options for restoring functionality, comfort, and esthetics. Surrounding teeth are not altered during implant placement, so there is no need to damage any healthy teeth. Also, implants are known for outstanding durability, even lasting decades.

One critical advantage is that they help to prevent bone loss because they use a root replacement.  Some dentists have the ability to create and place dental implants in a single visit to their office! Ask your dentist about this option.

Fixed bridges:

Advantages: Dental implants require healthy and adequate bone tissue, so they are not right for everyone. A fixed bridge is another option, looking and functioning like natural teeth. Since the bridge is set permanently in place, it doesn’t need removing for cleaning, and you don’t need to worry about “slippage.” Also, if budget is a consideration, a fixed bridge costs less than dental implants.

Your choice of options depends on your budget, oral health, and personal preference.


Advantages: When all of the upper or lower teeth need replacing, dentures are certainly the least expensive option. They are removable for brushing and cleaning, and for repairs. Dentures made with modern materials look very natural and function just like your own teeth. Another option, available because of advanced technology, are implant-retained dentures or overdentures that are fixed permanently in place.

The choice is yours!

Each option restores your ability to eat what you want and to smile with confidence. You will need to consider which will fit in with your budget, schedule availability, and the state of your oral health. Talk to your dentist about which option would work best for your unique circumstances.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

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4 Ways Dental Implants Can Improve Your Life

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), more than 30 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws. Many millions more are missing at least one permanent tooth. When it comes to finding the best solution for replacing missing teeth, dental implants have become the “Gold Standard” at Soams Dental for replacing missing teeth.

Dental implants can permanently restore your smile, but they do much more than just replace missing teeth. Here are four ways dental implants will improve your life.


1. You can eat what you want.

Dental implants restore your ability to eat a variety of different foods without the discomfort or chewing limitations imposed by tooth loss. Dental implants are made of titanium and are attached directly to your jawbone. They act as anchors to hold natural-looking porcelain crowns in place.

They look and function just like your natural teeth. So, no need to skip eating any of the foods you love!


2. They protect you from further tooth loss and bite misalignment.

Empty spaces created by lost teeth can result in the movement of other teeth causing bite misalignment. Implants stop those neighboring teeth from shifting and guard against bone loss which can lead to tooth loss.

When a tooth is missing, the bone in the jaw loses the support that had been provided by the tooth root. Over time, the bone will begin to deteriorate. Dental implants directly mimic the missing tooth root, supporting the jaw bone and halting the deterioration of bone.


3. They will restore your confidence and self-esteem.

Implants restore your ability to smile naturally and confidently. When you’re proud of your smile, you’re far more likely to share it with others – which can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem and quite possibly your business and social relationships.

4. They can securely anchor your dentures.

Dental implants can be used to anchor dentures firmly in place, giving you greater comfort and more confidence in your smile.

Dentures that slip are more than an embarrassment; they are a danger to your oral health. Unintentional movement isn’t just embarrassing— it can cause serious damage. The friction that results from a loose denture plate can create sores. These not only cause you discomfort but also put you at risk for infections.

 With implants, you can speak, eat, and laugh without worrying that your dentures will slip or come out.

Do You Have More Questions About Implants?

We know you must have other questions about implants, so we created this informative infographic. It will give you the information you need to decide if a dental implant is the right choice for you. Just fill in the form and click on the “Download Now” button!


Dental Implants Infographic


Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Although at Soams Dental dental implants are our preferred method for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are not an option for everyone.  But if you meet the following criteria, you probably would be a good candidate for dental implants:

  • Generally good health
  • Sufficient healthy jaw bone to accept an implant
  • Healthy gums

Why not call our office at (203) 743-1972 or contact us online and talk with Dr. Gerfen about whether dental implants would be a good choice for replacing your missing teeth.

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3 Extremely Useful Resources to Learn All About Root Canals

You’ve been told you need a root canal, and understandably, you now have questions: What exactly IS a root canal? Is it going to hurt? What can you expect when you go in for treatment?

We want to make it easier on you, so we’ve rounded up some great online resources that will help answer the questions you need answers to.

1. Read about root canals and learn what to expect

The American Association of Endodontists has included a plethora of information about the root canal (or endodontic) treatment on one handy webpage. You’ll find many answers to your questions here, including:

  • What is a root canal?
  • What exactly is involved in the treatment?
  • Why would you need the treatment?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What happens to the tooth after the treatment?
  • Will you need to get a crown?
  • Will your tooth need any special care afterward?

You’ll also find another page dealing with Root Canal Myths. Here, three myths are debunked, including the common misconception that root canals are very painful. The truth is, when you need this treatment, you’re already in pain, so it actually brings much-needed relief. On top of that, anesthetics and other modern techniques make root canal pain on par with other basic dental procedures, which is not very high. Yay!

Read the articles: Root Canals Explained | Myths About Root Canals and Root Canal Pain

2. View illustrations of root canal treatment

Do you want to see the steps of a root canal without a lot of reading? Go to the Colgate Oral Care Center website and quickly view the steps of this treatment in seven simple illustrations.

These images will help you visualize the answers to these questions:

  • Where is the infection in my tooth?
  • What does it take to deal with the infection?
  • What tools will be used to remove the infection?
  • What materials will be added?
  • How will the tooth be rebuilt?

View: Illustrations: Root Canal Treatment From Start To Finish

3. Watch a 3-minute video showing how a root canal treatment is done

Once again, the folks at American Association of Endodontists have produced a great resource to learn about root canals. Watch their helpful video below:

Quickly go to any section of the video that you’re curious about by using the quick jump guide below. Just move the progress bar slider to the specific spot in the video:

  • 0:36 – What is Endodontics?
  • 0:43 – What is an Endodontist?
  • 1:05 – What and where is your tooth pulp?
  • 1:24 – Why does the pulp need to be removed?
  • 1:38 – What are the steps of root canal treatment?
  • 2:23 – What follow-up procedure will still need to be done?


Yes, the news that you’re in need of a root canal may ruin your day, but having helpful resources can really go a long way! Being informed will help you make the right treatment choice. Having answers to your root canal questions can also allay your concerns and calm your fears.  Do you still have more questions? We would be happy to answer them for you. Just call us at  (203) 743-1972  or contact us online and we will be glad to make an appointment for you.

Do you have a favorite resource that has taught you helpful information about root canals? Please tell us about it in the comments below!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source


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Are Dental Implants the Right Solution for Your Missing Teeth?


Dental implants are an ideal solution for missing teeth.

Do you hide your smile because of missing teeth? If so, imagine what it would feel like to correct the problem, knowing you could smile again with confidence!

Attaining a healthy, beautiful smile again doesn’t just have to be a dream – it could be a reality with dental implants.

Why choose dental implants?

There are many benefits of dental implants as a solution for missing teeth or even decayed, diseased, or damaged teeth. Dental implants look and feel completely natural, restoring your smile to its original beauty and function.

Without compromising the strength of neighboring teeth, implants allow you to chew and speak comfortably and naturally. Additionally, they help prevent tooth shifting and misalignment, which could occur if a missing tooth is left untreated for a long period of time.

Unlike bridges and dentures, implants are a long-lasting solution; they can last a lifetime when properly cared for.

Many people have found dental implants to be the right solution for missing teeth.


Are you a candidate for dental implants?

Many people, including those advanced in years, are ideal candidates for dental implants. Some factors your dentist will consider include:

  • The condition of your general, overall health.
  • Whether or not you have sufficient healthy jaw bone density to support an implant.
  • The health of your gum tissue.

There are a few factors that could potentially lower the success rate of your dental implant. These include:

  • Smoking.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Cancer, a blood disorder, diabetes, or other illness.

Although these factors may prevent you from being an ideal implant candidate, they don’t automatically disqualify you from the procedure.

Questions to ask during your implants consultation

Before you choose dental implants over another solution, you’ll want to feel comfortable with what’s involved. Here are a few questions you may want to ask your dentist or oral surgeon during your consultation:

  • How long have you been placing implants?
  • Do you have any case studies or before and after photos you can share with me?
  • What special training have you received?
  • How much do dental implants cost?
  • Will my insurance cover any portion of the expense?
  • Do you offer a payment program?
  • What will you do to ensure I’m comfortable during treatment?
  • This procedure makes me nervous. What will you do to calm my nerves?

Dental implants are a life-changing solution for many people who have suffered from missing teeth! If you believe you might be a candidate for implants, discuss your options with your dentist.

Share this article with any of your friends or family who may be searching for a solution for missing teeth. 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

Re-posted with permission. Source

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Our FREE Gift to You!

We think our patients are the greatest!

We love seeing your beautiful smiles every day and sharing a laugh while catching up on the latest news. Because we appreciate your continued loyalty to our office and team, we love it when we have the opportunity to reward that loyalty.

We’ve Got What You Need

As partners in your dental health, we want to provide you with important information we know you want and need, and we are constantly thinking of new and creative ways we can supply it. So, we are excited to share a new digital download that provides information we know you will be happy to have – “How Are Dental Implants Placed?”

Dental implants Danbury CT free digital download.



Take the mystery out of dental implants. We thought about what you would like to know and created this digital download with informative step-by-step graphics.



This download is completely FREE, no hidden strings attached! It was designed solely for the benefit of our patients.  You can visit our dental implants page to get your FREE download now. (And you’re welcome!)


Thank you again for being the greatest patients on the planet! See you at your next appointment with our expert in dental implants, Danbury, CT dentist Dr. Gerfen.

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The Man Who Wouldn’t Smile!

Losing your teeth can be traumatic. Not only is it impossible to eat or chew comfortably, but social situations can become painful and embarrassing.

Convention dentures have long been the established solution for tooth loss. But, it certainly hasn’t been the ideal solution! Slippage, chafing, and inability to chew or eat normally are just a few of the drawback. Dentistry has long needed a better answer to the problem of missing teeth.

Dental implants Danbury CT beforeDental implants is that answer! Implants are replacement tooth roots that are permanently placed in the jawbone and then crowned with a natural looking and functioning custom-crafted replacement tooth. Implants are often used to replace a single missing tooth, but they are increasingly being used as the stabilizing foundation for dentures.

A recent patient of ours had experienced the discomfort that missing teeth can cause. It was hard to even get him to smile. Implant retained dentures were the perfect solution for him!

Implant retained dentures are held in place by implants strategically placed in the jawbone which along with a prosthesis securely hold dentures in their optimum position.

Soams - prosthesis

Some of the benefits of implant retained dentures are:
• Look and function like your own natural teeth.
• Long-lasting and durable
• More comfortable and stable than conventional dentures.
• Have a more natural biting and chewing capacity.
• Implant retained dentures also protect your supporting bone structure from deterioration.
• They are easier to maintain than conventional dentures.

Our patient loved his new smile using implant retained dentures. In fact, we can’t get him to stop smiling now!

Soams-prosthesis-afterDon’t suffer any longer from the discomfort or embarrassment that can be caused by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures. We would love to talk with you about the options available for a long-lasting, beautiful, and comfortable smile. Contact us or call us at (203) 743-1972 to make an appointment to learn how you can have a smile that won’t quit with dentures retained by dental implants that have our Danbury, CT patients smiling non-stop!

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