Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology) – Head and Neck Surgery

Dental Implant Program at Mount Sinai

Dental implants have transformed millions of smiles by providing patients with a non-removable prosthesis that function as their own teeth. This ability to replace missing teeth with long-term functionality takes patients out of dentures, decreases the amount of bridge work needed, and improves patients’ lives beyond measure.

At Mount Sinai’s Dental Implant Program, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons have vast experience with this common, outpatient procedure.

Dental Implant Consultation and Evaluation at Mount Sinai

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable denture teeth. The metal screw portion of the device, made of titanium, acts as a root, which anchors into the bone. Implants are ultimately governed by the amount of bone that remains following extractions or the loss of teeth. Therefore, the consultation is an important first step in the implant process.

At Mount Sinai, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform a physical exam, and obtain a panoramic X-ray and a 3D cone beam CT in order to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. If there is a lack of bone to accept implants, bone grafting is typically performed to add bone to deficient areas. Once the graft has healed—a process that can take four to six months—an implant can be placed for future dental restoration.

A restorative dentist and oral surgeon typically work together to plan implant treatment. The surgeon will surgically place the implant in the bone; once integrated in the bone, the restorative dentist will fabricate a crown to fit over the implant. The crown will look and function as a normal tooth. Implant placement is usually a two-stage surgical procedure, involving placement followed by an exposure approximately three months later. The exposure allows the restorative dentist access to the implant to complete the prosthesis.

The oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Mount Sinai will review your case in depth and contact your referring dentist to coordinate treatment. If you do not have a dentist, we can provide one who can care for all your dental needs and implant requirements. 

Care Following a Dental Implant Procedure

Implants have a very good success rate in regions that have adequate native or augmented bone. However, there are some factors that can decrease the success of an implant, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Bisphosphonate use
  • Radiation therapy
  • Poor oral hygiene

Recovery from dental implants lasts a few days to a week, and involves minor pain and swelling. After one week, patients return to normal eating and speech routines. However, the full healing process could take three to six months, after which, a crown can be fabricated.