Dr. Scharf on The Wellness Hour

Why You are Never Too Old for Dental Implants.

Dr. David Scharf is a leader in the field of periodontics and dental implants in Long Island, NY. In this video, he talks about why you’re never too old to get dental implants. He relates a personal story about his grandmother who is in her 90’s and started to lose her teeth. He discusses the numerous benefits of getting dental implants at that age and how it improves your overall quality of life.

What are Dental Implants Like vs Dentures?

In this video, Dr. Scharf talks about the common problems that people experience with dentures and how dental implants can fix those problems.

What is Laser Treatment for Gum Disease?

Dr. David Scharf talks to Randy Alvarex about the advancement of Laser Gum Therapy and how it can help so many patients overcome periodontal disease.

Are There Advances in Dental Implants?

Dr. David Scharf is interviewed by Randy Alvarez on The Wellness Hour discussing advances in dental implants.


The Wellness Hour: An In-depth Discussion with Today’s Top Physicians and Medical Leaders

With Host Randy Alvarez

Randy: You’re watching the Wellness Hour leader in medical news and information. I’m Randy Alvarez. Today’s topic, What You Need to Know If You’re Considering Dental Implants. My first guest is a board-certified periodontist. He’s from Long Island and he seems to be the go-to guy if you’re considering dental implants. Dr Scharf, welcome to the program.

Dr. Scharf: Thanks for having me.

Randy: Welcome back I should say.

Dr. Scharf: Thanks, great to be back.

Randy: Now, as a periodontist, for those who don’t know, tell us the different things you you treat and your typical patient.

Dr. Scharf: Well as a periodontist the focus of my practice is treating gum disease and we treat gum disease with a laser and also placing dental implants, restoring people’s smiles with dental implants. So we get people who’ve lost teeth from gum disease because they’ve cracked a tooth, they had an accident, and they’re either missing a tooth or they’re wearing something that’s unsatisfactory, and one of the most satisfying things we do is give them back their smile by putting dental implants in.

Randy: Okay good. Now we’ve had you on the show talking about dental implants in the past. Big response from that by the way. A lot of people coming in.

Dr. Scharf: Yeah it was very exciting. You know, what I found most gratifying was people who thought there was no hope that found out that there was a hope for their situation.

Randy: Because there’s a lot of people… You say that they self-diagnose, that they’re in their 70’s, which is very young, and they say I’m too old or I have osteoporosis and these people are candidates you’re saying.

Dr. Scharf: A lot of people think… self-diagnose is a great word, they either think they’re too old or they have medical problems so they think well if I lost my teeth because I had no bone how can I possibly have dental implants so rather than take that step to find out whether or not they’re a candidate they just assume that it’s not going to be for them. And then they heard the show or they did some reading, came in, found that they can get dental implants. So it’s been exciting.

Randy: Now, board-certified periodontist. What does that mean?

Dr. Scharf: Well to become a dentist, you need four years of dental school. After that, to specialize in periodontics, is another two or three years, uh, after you complete a perio program uh you can call yourself a periodontist but board certification is the final step, and only about a third of periodontists ever become board-certified.

Randy: Now you teach dentists. You’re an associate clinical professor at New York University College of Dentistry. You teach other dentists that want to be specialists. Tell me about that.

Dr. Scharf: Exactly, I train dentists from the u.s and from all over the world who come to New York University to specialize in either periodontics or dental implants and the teaching involves both lecture treatment planning helping them look at a case, decide what treatment options there are, deciding how to treat the case, and then sitting chair side with them to physically teach them the clinical skills they need to be successful specialists.

What’s Changed

Randy: What’s changed? Why is it better now, easier now to get dental implants than it was say 10 years ago?

Dr. Scharf: That’s a great question. You know, a lot has changed. First treatment time is much faster than it used to be. The old protocol used to be take a tooth out, wait six months for the bone to heal, put the implant in, wait another six months. The implant would be submerged under the gum, then we would uncover it and make the crown.

Randy: So, why the wait, by the way?

Dr. Scharf: Well you need that wait for the implant to fuse with the bone. Nowadays, under the right circumstances, we can do what’s called “immediate placement and immediate load.” We can take a tooth out put an implant in the same day, and in the right conditions, put a temporary crown on the implant the same day.

Randy: So that happens by the way. We’re talking about ideally…I mean you have patients that get this tooth in a day…is that right, is that real?

Dr. Scharf: It’s really very common. Again, it comes down to not every patient is a candidate for that and we know during the workup phase whether or not they are. But more commonly than not, we can take the tooth out, put the implant in that day, and at least put a temporary crown on the implant so someone can leave the office look good, feel good, go about their business, and then, once the implant is fused with the bone, the dentist makes the final crown.


Randy: Okay, then we were talking about changes. Okay, so now you can do it much quicker now because of the implant the bone’s holding on to the that implant faster I guess.

Dr. Scharf: Right. One of the other biggest changes is diagnosing the patient and knowing before you do the surgery, whether or not they’re a good candidate. And that’s where computers and technology really help us. First, years ago we used to just take a regular dental x-ray, which was a two-dimensional x-ray, and we wouldn’t really know whether or not the bone was wide enough or strong enough to accommodate the implant until we opened the gum up and started to place the implant. Nowadays, we use two things which have helped a lot. One is called an i-CAT scanner. So, an icat scanner is a machine in the office which in effect…

Randy: Do you have it in your office?

Dr. Scharf: We’ve had one in the office a few years now that takes a dental scanner, in fact a cat scan of the patient’s jaw. So someone comes in for an appointment, they used to come in, we’d examine them, we used to have to send them to a radiologist’s office. So they’d have to come back, go back and forth. Now we can take it right in the office and it shows us right on a computer screen whether or not they have enough bone and how dense the bone is, and then we use a program called Simplant and Simplant lets us do the surgery in a virtual way. So, we can virtually place implants in their bone to determine the length, to determine the size, to determine the quality of the bone around the implants. So, by the time we get in to do the implant surgery there’s no more guesswork. And then the third part…in the old days…

Randy: In the old days, was it guess work? Because of imaging?

Dr. Scharf: Sometimes it was guesswork because you didn’t know the amount of bone that was there until you actually open the patient up. And it amazes me, there’s still people that don’t get dentist scans for patients uh and they open up the patient and find out that there’s not enough bone. And then the extension of this technology is that many cases we don’t even have to open the gum up anymore. We can use that computer technology to actually guide the implant placement so that whatever we do on the computer, on that computer software simulation, can be replicated in the mouth without ever having to open the gum or to stitch the gum closed, and that’s tremendous.

Types of Patients

Randy: What are the different types of patient’s categories of dental implant patients that you see?

Dr. Scharf: Uh, we see a wide range of patients. You know, first, they’re the the denture sufferer. These are people who have dentures uh that are just miserable in their dentures. They’re loose, they clack around, they can’t eat, they feel insecure, they they can’t… they’re afraid of talking at friends because they’re afraid their dentures are going to fly out. And these people become recluses almost. They don’t want to socialize they don’t want to go out to eat.

Randy: Did they tell you this?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah, many times they tell us, or sometimes they, they tell us afterwards how the dentures [implants] have helped them. Sometimes they say, I didn’t realize how much these dentures were affecting me until I didn’t have them anymore, how I used to really shun certain foods, or I wouldn’t want to go out with people, or I’d be embarrassed talking to my coworkers, or I’d always put my hand over my mouth. That’s a big one. People say, I didn’t realize how I put my hand over my mouth. Because they were embarrassed about their dentures moving. So, we can help those people either by putting in a couple of implants so the dentures snap in securely or many of them choose to have either four or six implants placed and get rid of the denture all together to have something that’s completely fixed in place.

Randy: So, it’s permanent in their mouth?

Dr. Scharf: Permanent. Doesn’t come in and out.

No More Dentures

Randy: I mean, when I hear this term, “No more dentures,” you know, with as little as one or two appointments get a fixed set of teeth in their mouth, maybe four or six implants… That’s true, that’s possible?

Dr. Scharf: What’s amazing is that you can replace a whole jaw of teeth, in the lower with four implants, in the upper with six implants. So, a lot of people think, well, you have…you need one implant for every tooth to be replaced and that’s not true. There’s…

Randy: It’s just not so?

Dr. Scharf: They’re so strong that four or six implants strategically placed can support a whole jaw of teeth.

Randy: So, it really raises their self-esteem though.

Dr. Scharf: I’ll tell you a great story. I have a couple that I treat, an elderly couple. I did some implants for the husband and the wife, and the wife was a beautiful woman. Had dentures which were loose all over the place. They came in. I think they saw the first show. They came in, uh I did implants for her top and bottom so that she now had dentures fixed in place and the husband said she’s like she was 40 years ago again he said, and these were his words, “Her personality has just blossomed again.” Uh, they go out to eat, they go dancing.

Randy: Just because of her teeth?

Dr. Scharf: You know it’s easy…

Randy: I mean I am skeptical when I hear these stories.

Dr. Scharf: It’s easy for you to say that because you’re not the sufferer, you know. You’re not the one who’s embarrassed that you’re gonna talk on TV and your dentures are gonna fall out on uh on the table here you’re not the one who’s you know maybe embarrassed that the dentures are clacking when they go out to eat or gets a seed caught underneath. And it’s gradual. It’s not that they shut down immediately but it’s it’s, it takes a little bit of their self-esteem day by day, week by week and it’s a slow decline. And the beauty of putting the implants in is that it happens so quickly and the restoration is so fast that you just see people blossom. It’s very gratifying.

I Should Have Done This Years Ago

Randy: Since the last time I interviewed you, what was that, a couple of years ago?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah

Randy: Okay, so you’ve met a lot more patients. I mean, do these stories… I mean is this one of those things where they say I should have done this years ago?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah, and many times when they say that, uh, I said, well why why did you keep away? And they say, well I either thought it was…you know, I couldn’t afford it, it wouldn’t fit in my budget or I thought it was very time-consuming or very painful. So, a lot of things that we addressed in the other show I think were nice because people realized that it doesn’t have to break the bank to have their teeth replaced, that it’s not a long drawn-out process, that it can be a comfortable process. And it’s attainable. The average person who gets dental implants is the average person.

Randy: Oh, good.

Dr. Scharf: They’re not, you know, the…they’re the average person who wants a solution to what’s trouble…

Randy: My 70-year-old mother says, I’m too old to get dental implants she thinks I’m crazy.

Dr. Scharf: That’s interesting you know you’re never too old to get dental implants. My grandmother is  95 or 96 now. When she was 91, she always had all her teeth, when she was 91 she started to lose teeth they started to decay and she needed seven teeth taken out. So, here’s a woman who’s  91, has had all her teeth her whole life, and suddenly she had to lose teeth. And I took her… I had to, I took her teeth out for her and I put dental implants in the very same day.

Randy: How old?

Dr. Scharf: She was 91 at the time and we waited, uh we waited a few months. After a few months she had the teeth put on top of the implants and she said to me, ‘I don’t understand this. I know you took my teeth out and now I have my teeth back again. How’d you do that?’ And so I explained the whole dental implant process and you know, Randy, she’s uh, she’s in a nursing home now and I visit her a lot. It’s right near my house. I love to visit my grandmother and when I sit at the table with her in the dining room she sits with the same women. Some of the women have no teeth at all, some of the women have dentures that they put on the tray. They eat mushy whatever they want, they eat mush. I look at my grandmother’s tray, she has an apple she has a hard roll and as you get older you know your vision may go, your mobility may go, but what’s what’s the one joy you have from when you’re an infant? Hopefully, to your last breath, is being able to eat and enjoy your food.

Randy: Wow, excellent! Good point.

Dr. Scharf: And it makes me feel great to be able to see my grandmother be able to eat whatever she wants and really not have that hanging over her.

Randy: What are the other fears, by the way. You know, if we brought in a bunch of denture wearers what are their fears about dental implants or misconceptions, I should say?

Dr. Scharf: A big misconception or a big fear as well, that maybe they won’t work that maybe my body will reject the implants. And the reality is that implants, uh, fuse with the bone, uh, 98 percent of the time and the two percent of the time that an implant doesn’t fuse we just replace it. There’s no additional feed of the patient to replace it, but it happens two percent of the time and…

Randy: Two percent of the time nationwide?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah.

Randy: Okay.

Dr. Scharf: And most of the time, uh, when we put that second implant in that second implants, uh, is going to fuse. The second fear I think that people have which is a big one is that it will be, you know, unaffordable and that’s probably second I think to, uh, rejection.

Randy: Four dental implants that’s what this All on Four is to secure a lower denture?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah, and we do it all the time.

Randy: Is it called a denture? What do you call it by the way?

Dr. Scharf: Uh, we’ll call it an implant bridge or an implant prosthesis.

Randy: How soon can they eat? The denture, how soon can they eat after the procedure? In an ideal situation

Dr. Scharf: They can eat right away. You know until the, uh, until there’s some healing of the soft tissue it’s good that they eat soft food for maybe a week or ten days, uh, but after that they can just eat whatever they want.

Randy: You say that by losing your teeth it can make you look older.

Dr. Scharf: Right, that’s very common. And what happens is, the teeth help to stimulate the bone just like exercise stimulates your muscles. So, when you lose teeth and they’re not replaced the bone starts to wither and as the bone withers or atrophies. That’s when the corners of the lips start to turn and the creases get deeper, the chin becomes more prominent. So it’s the classic picture of someone with no teeth or with a denture where the chin sticks out the lips really are tucked back.

Randy: You brought a video…you brought a video. Let’s take a look at that video. What are we looking at here?

Dr. Scharf: Well, what we’re looking at is a morph of what happens when someone loses their teeth and they’re not replaced. So, what you see is the bone resorbing, the lips turning in, the lips disappear, the creases get deeper, the chin becomes closer to the nose, and it really ages the face.

Randy: So, I understand this correctly, the pressure of the implant on the bone is what keeps the bone there.

Dr. Scharf: The implants stimulate the bone just like our natural roots stimulate the bone and help maintain its vitality.

Teeth Have to Go

Randy: What’s a group of patients you’d like to see more of? What about those people that, uh, and i’ve talked to one of those people. They say, “I have bad gums” or “My teeth have to go…I don’t think an implant would stay in my gums.” What is your response to that

Dr. Scharf: Well, a lot of people who’ve been told their teeth have to go, their teeth do have to go. Sometimes they come in and they they’re expecting the worst that they have to lose their teeth and we’re happy to tell them that we can treat their teeth. We use a laser to treat periodontal disease and that allows us to treat cases, which before, we used to have to take out the teeth. And I brought some great pictures to show you through those examples.

Randy: Let’s take a look. Wow, that’s uh…

Dr. Scharf: Take a look at this guy. This was a very interesting case. This was…this gentleman always have good, has good teeth, had good teeth, and as time went on, uh, he developed some depression. That depression caused him…he had to take medication which dried his mouth out. And within the span of a couple years, his teeth completely decayed. He recovered from the depression, but he couldn’t function, he couldn’t eat, he was in pain, he was embarrassed by his teeth. We took the teeth out, we put the implants in. And here’s a case…this is him in his temporary. So, this is just his temp. In a very short time he was back to eating, chewing, smiling, and really feeling good about himself. When you think about it, how can you…how can you feel good about your body and yourself when you smile and you have nothing but decay teeth or bad breath or, you know. Our smile is like our calling card.

How Can You Feel Good?

Randy: Okay, okay. Now you said there’s a lot of people out there that, that they’ve been told by their general dentist, “Your teeth have to go” and they do nothing. They put it off and put it off and put it off. What do you…

Dr. Scharf: Well, you know, a lot of people put it off because, um, very few people when they’re told their teeth have to go or get excited to say, “Well, let’s take them out then. Let’s check that off the to-do list.” You know? Who wants to lose their teeth? So, unless they’re in a lot of pain, they would want to nurse the situation along. But the problem with nursing it along is first, again, you have bad breath, the teeth start to flare. But the longer you let those bare teeth stay in, uh, you approach the time when maybe you wouldn’t have enough bone for dental implants. So, for someone who’s maybe been told that their teeth have to go, I would urge them to at least investigate dental implants to find out, well, if I don’t do this now am I precluding the possibility of having implants in the future or do I have some time so that I can really plan for it when I’m more ready to do it.

Specialist vs General Dentist

Randy: Okay, so you’re a specialist and there are general dentists, I guess, doing this that are, that are, that are placing implants, uh. Are you more expensive because you’re a specialist?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah, you know that’s the nice part. Uh, it’s no more expensive to have a specialist do it than to have a generalist do it. And there is some…

Randy: Is that right!

Dr. Scharf: There is some general dentists on Long Island that have excellent training that have done a lot of implants, but there are also a lot of general dentists who’ve taken a couple weekend courses are placing their first implant. You know, Randy, I’ve placed thousands, and thousands, and thousands of implants both in my private office and at New York University where I teach dental implants. I’ve lectured in India, I’ve lectured in Korea, I’ve lectured all over.

Randy: On dental implants?

Dr. Scharf: On dental implants

Randy: Is there that much to talk about dental implants really?

Dr. Scharf: You wouldn’t think there is. You know, you’re just kind of making a whole putting the implant in, but there’s a tremendous amount to it. And I think the inexperienced people, sometimes, don’t know what they don’t know.

Randy: Okay, so the public needs to know that. Look for respect… You know, people always email me. Uh, and they always say, you know… because we don’t give referrals on our site, by the way. We don’t. Uh, you know… I’m just asking the questions. But they’ll email me, “Who should I look for for my hip replacement, my knee replace… whatever.

Dr. Scharf: Right.

Randy: And I say look for a specialist. Look for someone that does it all the time.

Dr. Scharf: Right.

Randy: You agree with that?

Dr. Scharf: There’s no recognized specialty of dental implants. So, periodontists are well trained and doing them, oral surgeons are well trained in doing them, prosthodontists now are well trained in doing them. My point is, that somebody should look for someone that does a lot of implants. That place hundreds and hundreds of implants a year.

Randy: There is a learning curve.

Dr. Scharf: There’s a learning curve and the curve never ends. It flattens out after a while but you’re still always learning. So, if I’m doing implants every day four or five days a week, I’m going to just do it quicker and more easily than someone maybe who’s doing their one implant case for the month.

Less Pain Less Time

Randy: I, I, I think what, you know, we’re talking about what’s new. I guess the main thing is, just less pain, low downtime, less implants to give somebody their teeth back. I mean, a fixed set of teeth. Is that, I mean, did I hit all of them?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah. I mean less… less surgery for sure because it used to be we would submerge the implant under the gum. That’s not necessary anymore. We used to wait, you know, six to twelve months. Most times now, eight weeks is all it takes for the implant to be ready for the final restoration. Improved diagnostics and again because we can use fewer implants to restore an entire arch the costs have come down as well.

Randy: Okay, what about the baby boomer crowd, you know, their 40’s plus and they’re missing three or four teeth. Why should they do something now and maybe they have bridges or partials or something in their mouth. Why should they get rid of their, I guess, partials or whatever you call them and get dental implants.

Dr. Scharf: Well, if someone has a tooth-supported bridge that’s functioning adequately, there’s no decay it doesn’t need to be changed keep, keep using that. It’s functioning fine it’s doing fine for you. If someone has a removable partial denture that comes out, removable partial dentures are harmful. The pressure on the bone causes the bone to start to resorb, the torque of the clasp on the, what we call the abutment teeth, causes those abutment teeth to be lost. So over time, wearing a partial denture will hasten the loss of the teeth at that partial denture attaches to.

Randy: A snowball effect?

Dr. Scharf: Yeah, so they lose that tooth and then they make a new partial denture that attaches to the next tooth and the next tooth and the next tooth.

Fixed Bridges vs Implants

Randy: You mentioned, if somebody has something, a fixed bridge, is that what you call it?

Dr. Scharf: Mhm.

Randy: So they’re, they’re fine? Or ideally if it was one of your family members, would you tell them come in and get dental implants?

Dr. Scharf: If someone loses a tooth that needs to be replaced, they have the option of not replacing it, replacing it with a tooth-supported bridge, or replacing it with an implant. Without a doubt, if they had enough bone, my choice would be the dental implant for a couple reasons. First, in a tooth-supported bridge, the teeth on either side of the space have to be prepared or ground down for the bridge. And that trauma of grinding the teeth down sometimes causes those teeth to need root canals. A tooth-supported bridge can get decay over time and also the root isn’t replaced in a tooth-supporter bridge, only the crown is. So, the bone starts to wither. Someone actually loses part of their jawbone when it’s not stimulated.

Randy: Interesting.

Dr. Scharf: An implant goes into the bone, it stimulates the bone, it stands on its own, it doesn’t affect the adjacent teeth. I make this analogy, Randy. Look, imagine if you lost a finger right, and the surgeon said to you, “Okay, Randy, we can either re reattach your finger and it’ll be good as new, probably better than the old one, or we can somehow connect your finger to the adjacent fingers but we have to damage the adjacent fingers and, according to the national averages, it’s only going to last seven to ten years.” Why would you, why would you do that?

Randy: Okay, well that’s a good question. So, why are they doing it?

Dr. Scharf: Well, more and more people now are choosing to replace teeth with dental implants because the, the research is crystal clear that dental implants have a higher success rate than tooth supported bridges or removable partial dentures um and much longer duration.

Long Term Cost

Randy: So, it’s just about cost then? But in the long run I mean with people having several failed root canals or at least a couple.

Dr. Scharf: Right.

Randy:  Even for one, one two…

Dr. Scharf: Even in the short run uh,

Randy: It’s less?

Dr. Scharf: In the short run to replace a single tooth with a dental implant is probably about the same, maybe ten percent more than it is to do a three-tooth bridge.

Randy: Might as well get the, uh, implant.

Dr. Scharf: Well, if you have to replace that tooth-supported bridge in seven to ten years and have another cost, and then seven to ten years another cost, think about a 30-year-old or 40-year-old. How many times in the course of their life… Even if someone’s in their older years, if they’re in their 70s or 80s and they’re healthy enough to have the dental work done, why would you do something that statistically isn’t going to last as long?

Randy: Like a patch. Patchwork.

Dr. Scharf: Right.

Randy: Industry is like that, though, isn’t it? You’re filling in things. I mean, everything is kind of temporary.

Dr. Scharf: For a certain extent what we do is reparative and every repair, whether you’re repairing your car or your boat or doing, or putting a new roof on your house the new roof doesn’t last forever. The repair to your car doesn’t last forever. And dental things wear out.


Randy: But dental implants, it seems…

Dr. Scharf: There’s nothing as durable as dental implants.

Randy: They’re going to last as long as you last or take care of yourself.

Dr. Scharf: That’s not uncommon. That’s very common. And, you know, implants don’t get gum disease, they don’t get tooth decay, they don’t need root canals. So, the things that typically cause us to lose our natural teeth, dental implants aren’t affected by those things and that’s why they’re so durable.

Randy: You don’t have the brush them?

Dr. Scharf: Well, you do have, you do have to brush them.

Randy: But aren’t they made of like porcelain? I mean, it doesn’t really stain does it?

Dr. Scharf: They, well, the crown can stain just like a natural tooth and you need to keep them clean. You need to maintain your implants like you would your natural teeth. And that’s a question people commonly ask. ‘What kind of maintenance are these implants going to take?’ they think it’s going to take some super maintenance. The reality is, just brush them and clean them like you would your natural teeth. That’s all they take.

Randy: Okay, you brought photos. We’re going to take a quick break, come back. More about the process what, what someone can expect when they go to your office.

Before After Photos

Randy: You’re watching the wellness Hour. Leader in medical news and information. I’m Randy Alvarez. Up next, some before and after photos and what you need to know about dental implants. We’ll be right back.

Yes, I was expecting it to be painful because they were drilling. They were putting something in my jaw and my bone. So, I expected it to be very painful and I thought, ‘here’s where I have an infection or something afterwards.’ But, fantastic! I mean, I’m coming back for two more. So, it was really a, really good experience.
Before I had the implants, um, the parts of the bridge that was showing was like a metallic color. So, when I smiled you saw this metallic ridge near my gum line. And that’s what’s so remarkable about the implants because it’s all enamel. It looks like your real regular tooth. I mean, it’s, it’s remarkable.

Anne, Dental Implant Patient – Explains how the dental implant process was easy & how it’s changed her smile.

Well, I can eat more confidently, I can speak more confidently, I can smile more confidently. I do a lot of public outreach and out, and speaking to the community and I’m much more confident about it now.

Barbara, Dental Implants Patient – Discussing how dental implants give her self-confidence.

When I would be playing Mahjong with my friends, I was a little embarrassed about my teeth and I wouldn’t smile as much, I didn’t talk as much, I’d bring my hand up to my mouth and cover my mouth when I was speaking. But now that I’ve had this work done, I feel much more confident, and I feel much happier with my new teeth. And of course the compliments have been coming. People say wonderful things. They all want to know who I went to and what, what, what was the procedure like. And I’m glad I did it.

Carol, Dental Implant Patient – Discussing how dental implants give her self-confidence.

I feel like really, now when I smile, because I’m not used to smiling, it’s wonderful. I mean, my friends, my family, everyone has noticed it. When I go out to eat. I am totally at ease. I can eat anything I want. I don’t have that feeling that something is going to become loose and I’ve got to stop eating, and I’ve got to go get more, you know, denture glue to put in. They feel like they have been with me all my life.

Barbara, Dental Implant Patient – Explains how dental implants look great & allow her to eat anything she wants.

Okay I had a problem. I had a denture on the bottom, and I had a problem. Every time I ate, my denture would pop up even if I glued it, it would loosen up and pop up. Then I told my dentist, ‘What am I going to do?’ and he sent me to Dr. Scharf. And I came here and he made me feel so comfortable. And, uh, I decided to have the procedure because I had to do something. I couldn’t eat. I was eating baby food, jar foods. And, uh, I said, you know, ‘I’m gonna go for it and see.’ And it was the best thing I did.

Lena, Dental Implant Patient – Discusses how her dentures were causing problems.

Randy: You’re watching The Wellness Hour, Leader in Medical News & Information. I’m Randy Alvarez. Today’s topic, What You Need to Know About Dental Implants. We’re with Dr. Scharf. Okay, Dr. Scharf, we’re just about out of time. You have some photos. What are we looking at here.

Dr. Scharf: I want to show you a couple of things, Randy. You know, a lot of people maybe deny themselves dental implants because they think it’s cosmetic. I mean, it is cosmetic, but the reality is, is how we feel about ourselves, it relates to how we look. When you meet somebody, if you’re in a job interview, a social situation, what’s the very first thing people always look at? Is the other purple, other person’s teeth. And right or wrong, people make judgments on other people based on their teeth. Look at this patient. He had all sorts of gum diseases.

Randy: Is that common? something like that?

Dr. Scharf: it’s very common. But you don’t see it because people hide their mouth. This guy had a big bushy beard and his big bushy beard hid his teeth. We had to take out the teeth, we put dental implants in, put the teeth on the same day. Here’s his bridge. And the part that amazed me after his bridge went in, the beard was gone. He had shaved very, uh, very short. And I think psychologically, that beard was his way of detracting people from paying attention to his teeth. And now he’s proud of his teeth. He can feel good about completely different look.

Randy: I mean, you would look at that guy very serious, uh, maybe even moody or stuck up. He was just ashamed of his smile.

Dr. Scharf: Yeah.

Randy: Is that right?

Dr. Scharf: You know, a lot of people meet someone and they think they’re not friendly, the person always has a scowl, or they never smile, or they never laugh when nothing could be further from the truth. That person maybe is just really embarrassed about their teeth, embarrassed that dentures are going to fly out, embarrassed how their teeth look, how their breath smells. So, people make a judgment based on how we smell and how we look and it may have nothing to do with the person and I think the person. Who’s, uh, who’s the one doing the scowling or the one that looks unhappy, I think it affects them bit by bit by bit, you know, being embarrassed about their teeth like that. I want to show you another couple quick pictures.

Randy: All right.

Dr. Scharf: Look at this patient. Again, beautiful woman, delightful woman. Just that sort of thing. She said, ‘I never smile anymore’ because she had these spaces between her teeth. Her teeth were flaring, her lip caught her teeth, they just didn’t look good anymore. And she was embarrassed by it. She always had nice teeth. Took her teeth out, put implants in, and she ended up with a beautiful smile.

Randy: So, those people they were told by their dentist, your teeth have to go. So, now is the decision, dental implants or dentures?

Dr. Scharf: Exactly, this is very common as well. Implants aren’t just about older people. A lot of people are born without two of their teeth, without their lateral incisors. The two over here. Years ago, before dental implants, the orthodontist would move the eye teeth into those positions. So, the smile would look okay, but it would never quite look right. Now, the orthodontist know, move the eye teeth back where the eye teeth go, create a space, and we don’t grind down the adjacent teeth. Now, we put two dental implants in and this person is going to have a restoration that, odds are good, will last them for the rest of their life without having to grind down the adjacent teeth, without having anything on aesthetic, that just looks terrific. And so many people, when they finish their braces… These are young kids, so you shouldn’t think dental implants are only for my 90-year-old grandmother, there are people you know 17, 18, 19, who are getting dental implants to do the most durable thing they can do to replace those missing teeth.


Randy: So, as a recap. For the denture work. Two dental implants and you can give them something that snaps in, snaps out. How strong is that?

Dr. Scharf: It’s very strong. In fact, we can adjust how strong it is. So, we can make it tighter or make it looser. And the great thing is, if somebody has a good denture already, we can use their existing denture. It doesn’t always mean having a new denture.

Randy: What do you do just put snaps in there?

Dr. Scharf: Exactly. We put the snap part into the denture, a snap part on top of the implant, and then it clicks in and out, snaps in and out.

Randy: Okay, and then four implants…

Dr. Scharf: Four implants can replace a whole lower jaw of teeth. Six implants can replace a whole upper jaw of teeth. And for people that aren’t missing a whole jaw of teeth, which is very common, someone just loses a single tooth or loses a couple teeth… You lose a single tooth, you need one implant.

Randy: Okay.

Dr. Scharf: You lose two teeth, you need two implants. You have three or four teeth in a row, you don’t necessarily need three or four implants. Again, two, many times two implants is enough to replace quite a few teeth. So, I think it’s a lot simpler than people realize. And once they get into it, they typically say, well it’s, it’s really better than I thought it was going to be. I wish I had checked it out a while ago.

How to Get Information from Dr. Scharf

Randy: We’re out of time. Where does somebody go for more information?

Dr. Scharf: People have a lot of questions and their level of interest really varies. Some people just want information mailed to them. And if you just want some information mailed to you, call our office, say you saw us on The Wellness Hour you can email me some information on dental implants and we’re happy to. Some people just want to meet us. Don’t even want a whole new patient exam they just want to come in and see what we’re all about. You can call our office and ask for a meet and greet and we just schedule five or ten minutes. I’ll be happy to sit with anybody and answer all their questions or talk to them on the phone. People just call with questions. We’re happy to do that too. And for people who really want to get into it, know, well am I a good candidate? What’s it going to cost? How long is it going to take? all the specifics, we schedule a new patient exam. We schedule about an hour to really evaluate them thoroughly. And then I sit down with them, um, and really get into really what all their options are.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, give us a call to schedule an appointment or send us a message.

Randy: All right. Well, thank you for coming on the show. Very, very interesting.

Dr. Scharf: Thanks for having me.

Randy: You’ve been watching The Wellness Hour, The Leader in Medical News and Information. I’m Randy Alvarez if you’d like to see this interview again or have a friend that’s missing teeth and you’d like to direct them to it, you can visit us on our website at wellnesshour.com, just put in “dental implants Dr  Scharf” and, and you’ll find the interview. For now, I wish you good health.