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Frequently Asked Questions

What is prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is a dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association. It pertains to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues.*

What is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed dental school plus three additional years of advanced training and education in an American Dental Association-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. Prosthodontists specialize in treating and handling dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing teeth. A prosthodontist is highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures and more.*

How is a prosthodontist different from other dentists and dental specialists?

The term “prostho” means replacement and “dontist” means dealing with teeth. Essentially, prosthodontists are the recognized experts when anything needs to be replaced in your mouth. This can range from a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth in the mouth. While many other dentists can do some of these treatments, prosthodontists are the specialists dedicated to this type of care.

Prosthodontists have advanced training in restoring and replacing teeth. Prosthodontists are considered the leaders of the dental treatment plan. They regularly lead teams of general dentists, specialists, and other health professionals to develop solutions for your dental needs.*

Why choose a prosthodontist?

Patients choose prosthodontists because of their advanced education and training, efficiency and expertise with advanced technology. Prosthodontists are extensively trained in state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for treating complex dental conditions and restoring optimum function and aesthetics.

Rigorous training and experience give prosthodontists a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile and the preservation of a healthy mouth.*

Should I expect to pay more to see a prosthodontist than I would to see a regular dentist?

Sometimes. Often to solve a complicated problem, a more sophisticated prosthesis is needed, which can lead to higher costs.

That said, Somerset Prosthodontic Dental contracts with certain dental insurance carriers and will process claims for all carriers, offers access to individual financing arrangements, and accepts most credit cards in an effort to accommodate patients.

What is a dental technician?

A dental laboratory technician is a trained professional who fabricates dental restorations, crowns, bridges, and dentures based on designs and instructions provided by a prosthodontist.*


What can be done to brighten my smile?

Tooth whitening lightens discolored enamel and dentin. Studies have shown that proper use of dentist-monitored, whitening systems can enhance your smile. Almost anyone can benefit. After a thorough examination and diagnosis, your prosthodontist can determine if you are a good candidate for home whitening.*

What are veneers?

Veneers may be an option if you are not happy with the spaces, color or shape of your teeth. Following a slight preparation of the outermost surface of your teeth, a prosthodontist bonds a thin layer of porcelain permanently to the front of your teeth. Veneers may be used to correct minor flaws of an individual tooth, but are often used on multiple teeth to create a uniform smile.*

What are some options for replacing missing teeth?

From implants to permanent bridges, you have several options to replace missing teeth and blend them with your natural teeth. Using advanced materials and tooth-color matching techniques, your prosthodontist can recommend the appropriate method for optimal function and esthetics.*

What is a crown?

When a tooth exhibits moderate to severe destruction such as a large filling with recurrent decay or extensive wear, a crown, also known as a protective cap, gives you the strength, beauty, translucency, and feel of a natural tooth. At Somerset Prosthodontic Dental we make only metal-free ceramic crowns, digitally designed and fabricated for your mouth locally, with the direct supervision of Dr. Zamikhovsky.

What’s a good way to brush my teeth?

Proper tooth brushing habits are the key to maintaining a healthy, pain-free mouth. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, the same principles apply to develop the correct tooth brushing techniques. Because it is important to clean your gums as well as your teeth and to avoid damaging the gums, you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Clean the area where the gums meet the teeth by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, touching both the gums and the teeth and make small circles with the brush for several seconds. Then move the brush to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and clean them with a front to back motion of the toothbrush. Electronic toothbrushes may enhance the proper tooth brushing techniques by automatically providing the proper cleansing motion and encouraging specific time interval, usually two minutes, for a thorough cleaning.*

How do I know if I’m flossing correctly?

Flossing is easy once you get in the habit of flossing regularly. The technique is the same for all types of floss:

  • Take approximately 16-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your fingers.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to gently guide the floss between the teeth and through the contact area.
  • When you reach the gum line, carefully move the floss up and down against each tooth reaching under the gum.
  • Readjust the floss to use a clean section for every two teeth.

Initially the gums may bleed when flossing, but with continued and regular tooth flossing the gums will become healthy and stop bleeding.*


How are digital X-rays improving treatment?

Digital imaging is a relatively new technology in dentistry and offers features that enhance the viewing of any problem areas. Digital X-rays use low levels of radiation and an electronic sensor to create a black and white picture teeth and surrounding bone. The images are displayed almost instantly on a computer screen and are stored in the computer allowing easy electronic transmission.

Digital X-rays are used inside the mouth to examine the teeth, the jaw-bone, and dental restorations. They play an important role in the diagnosis of decay and failing crowns and fillings, the correct placement of dental implants, and the proper treatment of teeth requiring root canals.*

Are there any health risks involved with digital X-rays?

All dental X-rays, including digital X-rays, use very low levels of radiation and are very safe. Protective lead aprons can be used.*

What is a CBCT or CAT Scan?

This type of dental X-ray allows the prosthodontist to see your teeth or jaws as a 3D image. It can be one of the most useful ways to allow a safe and predictable outcome for dental implants. State-of-the-art technology makes it possible for implant-supported replacement teeth to look, feel, and function like natural teeth.*

What is CAD/CAM and how can it help treatment?

CAD/CAM stands for “computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing.” Prosthodontists use CAD/CAM systems to design and create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other prostheses more quickly than was possible before. Using advanced 3D printing technology, CAD/CAM turns a computer model into physical reality.*

What is radiography?

Radiography refers to the use of X-ray radiation to create images of structures of the body. Like medicine, digital radiography is gradually replacing the traditional dental radiographs using film. Either technique uses low levels of radiation to create a black and white picture of the various structures in and near the mouth. X-rays are used inside the mouth to examine the teeth, the jaw-bone, and dental restorations.

Dental X-rays play an important role in the diagnosis of decay and failing crowns and fillings, the correct placement of dental implants, and the proper treatment of teeth requiring root canals. X-rays are utilized to help with evaluation of the upper and lower jaws, the sinuses and the temporomandibular joints. All dental X-rays, including digital X-rays, use very low levels of radiation and are very safe. Protective lead aprons can be used to cover various body parts X-rays are taken.*


What are dental implants?

A dental implant by itself is not a tooth! A dental implant is a prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. Essentially, it is a small titanium post/fixture that is inserted into the jawbone, on top of which a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, a partial denture, or full denture can be attached.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Almost anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth is a candidate for dental implants. Talk to your prosthodontist for your specific needs.*

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Humans are “blessed” with two sets of teeth (baby teeth and adult/permanent teeth). When a single permanent tooth or multiple teeth are lost due to dental decay or gum disease, dental implants can now replace them as the third set of fixed teeth! Dental implants can last a lifetime and can improve your appearance, your confidence, and your ability to eat the foods you like, and participate in an active lifestyle, without worrying about your teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium and can never get dental decay.

What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

Like any minor oral surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection, inflammation, and pain, but your prosthodontist will discuss how these can be managed for your specific situation. If there is no available bone to place the implant, then bone and gum grafting procedures may be required, which can increase the cost of your treatment. However, the upfront investment can pay off in the long term.*

How much do implants cost and does insurance cover the cost?

In general, the cost of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is almost the same as replacing it with a regular fixed bridge. Dental implant treatment may qualify for some insurance coverage, but situations vary. The cost will vary by patient needs, bone quantity, and region. A prosthodontist will make an assessment based on your unique needs.*

What is the success rate of dental implants?

It varies from individual to individual and with health and habits. For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene and good health, dental implants are predictably successful with reported success rates above 90 percent to 95 percent.*

Do dental implants last?

Unlike natural teeth, dental implants are not susceptible to dental disease such as decay; however, the health of the gums is vital to maintaining lasting implant success. Conscientious home care by the patient and regular professional cleanings and check-ups are essential elements for dental implant sustainability. Each patient is different, and success relies upon diagnosis and planning, medical history, and a variety of other factors.*

What if I want “metal-free” implants?

Almost all materials used for teeth replacements have some sort of metal ions in them. Dental implants are made of titanium alloy (similar to hip implants, shoulder implants, and knee implants), which is highly biocompatible, and an allergy to titanium is extremely rare. *

What is All-on-4®?

All-on-4® is a trademarked treatment procedure that essentially involves replacement of all missing teeth in one jaw by using only four implants. This procedure is especially beneficial in patients who have lost a lot of bone in the back areas of the mouth.*

Can dentures be made into implants?

Dentures cannot be “made into implants.” Implants are metal screws placed into the jawbone to help anchor and support artificial teeth (dentures). It may be possible to have implants placed beneath existing dentures to aid in the stabilization and support for those dentures. This could only be done if the current dentures were otherwise in excellent condition. Consult with Somerset Prosthodontic Dental to have your existing dentures carefully examined.*

Are dental implants removable like dentures or do they stay in your mouth?

No, dental implants are fixed solidly in the bone and allow teeth to be replaced in a manner that is closest to natural teeth.*

How do dental implants help if I have full dentures or partial dentures?

Actually implants are most popularly used in patients who wear full dentures or partial dentures. Dental implants can be used to provide retention and support for a removable implant overdenture, which basically snaps on the implants. Therefore, the partial or full denture does not move and reduces the dependency on denture adhesives/denture glue. Or, dental implants can be used for a fixed denture, where a patient’s dentures are fixed or bolted to the implants through titanium components. Only the dentist can remove this from the mouth.


I need dentures. Where do I start?

The best starting point to see if dentures are an option for you is to call for an appointment with Dr. Zamikhovsky at Somerset Prosthodontic Dental ( 908-754-6444). He is a specialist with an additional three years of training after dental school, and he is expert in the restoration and replacement of teeth, including dentures for even the most complex cases. Dr. Zamikhovsky also will be able to help determine if another treatment option might be more suited to your particular situation.

What types of dentures are there?

Dentures can replace all or only some of the teeth. Dentures that replace all the teeth are known as complete dentures and they rest on the gums that cover the jawbones. The stability and retention of these dentures can be improved by attaching them to dental implants.

Dentures that replace some but not all of the teeth are known as partial dentures. They attach to the teeth that are still present and also cover and rest on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing. Dental implants can also be used to restore and stabilize partial dentures as well.*

What is the average cost of dentures?

Denture fees vary based on numerous factors, including the complexity of your treatment and the time required to complete it. The best way to determine fees for the services you require is to visit with Dr. Zamikhovsky at Somerset Prosthodontic Dental and discuss the care you might need.

How do I get my broken dentures repaired?

Bring your broken dentures to Somerset Prosthodontic Dental and we will have them expertly repaired by our laboratory. Just call 908-754-6444 for an appointment. It may seem easy to fix, but it is important that the repair is done correctly to prevent problems with chewing and to avoid any sore spots. Dr. Zamikhovsky also will check the denture and adjust it after it is repaired. If the denture is old and no longer fits closely to your gums, you might need a new denture.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

Yes, you can wear your dentures at night, but it is preferred that they be removed. You should remove your dentures at night and this will give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day. If you need to wear your dentures for social reasons or to prevent your jaws from over closing, you should find time during the day to properly clean your mouth and your prostheses. You should never wear your dentures 24 hours a day without preforming proper oral hygiene. Dentures should be cleaned at night and stored in water during the night.*

Can I eat normally with dentures?

Most patients need to learn how to use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. After a while, you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder foods or sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier.

Chewing gum: Dentures and chewing gum do not usually work well together, no matter which brand of chewing gum you decide to try. The gum typically sticks to the acrylic plastic in the denture and may break a seal on the dentures, which will loosen them as a result. Gum may remain stuck to the denture and eventually harden and discolor. Ultimately, if you wear dentures, you should avoid chewing gum.*

How much pain is involved with getting dentures?

When you’re first fitted for new dentures, it’s normal to experience minor irritation, which should fade as your mouth becomes accustomed to them. The period of pain varies. If you’ve previously worn dentures and now have a new set it may take longer. Similarly, if you had some natural teeth present that were removed at the time of the new dentures, the areas where the extractions were performed may be painful or uncomfortable for up to several weeks after the removal of the teeth. Regular visits to Somerset Prosthodontic Dental are recommended to adjust the dentures as you go through the normal healing process.*

How do you know when it’s time to reline dentures?

If the dentures no longer fit as well as they once did, you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline.” Check with Somerset Prosthodontic Dental to see if your dentures can be relined. It is best not to reline your dentures with over-the-counter reline kits. This procedure, professionally done, will enable your dentures to have a tighter, better fit.*

Is it possible to have dentures put in the same day as teeth removal?

Yes, it is possible to have your teeth removed and dentures put in the same day. These dentures are called immediate dentures and you should consult with Dr. Zamikhovsky at Somerset Prosthodontic Dental ( 908-754-6444) to see if that treatment is the best for you.*

I have implants under my bottom denture, but my denture is still loose. Why?

If the implants were placed a long time ago and you have not returned for follow-up maintenance visits, such problems can occur. Unfortunately, in time the bone shrinks beneath dentures, causing the dentures to slip and slide, resulting in painful ulcers. Additionally, the attachment parts get worn down with use or damaged and require replacement. Regular visits to Somerset Prosthodontic Dental are recommended.*

I’m a new denture wearer, and the bottom denture seems loose. What should I do?

In most cases, the lower denture is much less stable than the upper denture. This is due to the shape of the gums on the lower ridge and movement of the denture caused by the tongue. Ask Dr. Zamikhovsky ( 908-754-6444) about supporting your lower denture with dental implants. Implants can be used to stabilize and retain the lower denture, allowing you to chew more efficiently and feel the confidence of knowing that your denture will stay in place.*

Is it possible to perfectly color match my partial denture to my remaining natural teeth?

Yes. Dr. Zamikhovsky and his lab team are highly trained in the art of color and shade matching. Assuming it is a new partial denture, we can work to produce a match to your remaining natural teeth. If it is an existing partial denture, we would recommend having a new one made, as the expense would be about the same to recolor the old one.*

Is it possible to get dentures after not having teeth for a long time?

It’s hard to predict how much of the upper and lower jaw will remain after many years without teeth. When teeth are removed, often the bone that held them in slowly shrinks over time. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s normal after tooth removal. It’s important that dentures are made properly to fit well and keep minimum stress on the bone. It’s not likely that you’ll have all the bone you started with after many years of not wearing a denture. Call Somerset Prosthodontic Dental at 908-754-6444 for a consultation and Dr. Zamikhovsky will be able to advise you.*


What are restored teeth?

Prosthodontists are specialists in replacing or restoring missing teeth. It is estimated that 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth, and 36 million Americans are missing all of the teeth in one or both of their jaws.

With dental restorations such as dentures and dental implants, people can enjoy health, natural smiles and improved quality of life. Dental restorations can be supported by natural teeth or by dental implants.*

Do restored teeth require extra care?

Dental restorations can be expensive. It’s important to protect your investment!

Patients with dental restorations can keep their teeth healthy using a lifelong recall and maintenance approach. This can reduce risk for failure of tooth and implant-borne restorations.*

How often should I have follow-up visits to maintain my restored teeth?

In addition to maintaining regular dental hygiene practices, prosthodontists recommend that patients with dental restorations should have clinical examinations to clean, adjust, repair, or replace their restorations at least every six months.*

What steps should I follow at home to care for my restored teeth?

Somerset Prosthodontic Dental will create an at-home maintenance plan that is tailored to you. These are some key steps to ensure the health of your restored teeth:

  1. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
  2. Floss your teeth once a day.
  3. Use a mouthwash recommended by your prosthodontist.
  4. Wear a night guard (if recommended by your prosthodontist) to protect your restorations.
  5. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  6. Avoid eating a high-sugar diet.

With these recommendations, your restored teeth are more likely to last longer, feel good, and look great.