Dental Implants

People are living longer, and they naturally want to maintain full use of their teeth and keep their beautiful smiles.  However, even with regular checkups and terrific flossing and brushing, sometimes teeth do not last.  This can be due to decay, injury, disease or simply getting older.

The good news is that dental implants can be used to rejuvenate your smile, dental function and oral health.

A dental implant is a synthetic tooth that can be surgically placed into the jawbone.  The post or “root” is usually made of titanium, the same material used frequently in replacement hips and knees.  It’s a metal that works well with the human bone.  The synthetic tooth is fixed to the titanium post.  It can either be attached permanently or can be removable.  When the tooth is permanently attached it feels more stable and natural.

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The best candidate for a dental implant is a non-smoker with good oral health and a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw and good, strong, gums.

Strategic Uses for Dental Implants

If you are missing a tooth and need it replaced, an implant with a replacement tooth will do the trick.  If you are missing several teeth in a row, correctly placed implants can be used to support a set of replacement teeth, called a bridge.  If you have lost all your teeth, implants can be used as anchors for a full denture.

Advantages of Implants over Conventional Bridges and Dentures

Whereas an implant is placed into the bone, conventional bridges and dentures are not.  This instability can make it difficult to eat or smile without worrying.  Implants look natural and feel and act more like normal teeth with the same biting force.

Other advantages of implants include the fact that, unlike conventional bridges and dentures, implants will last a lifetime and in no way compromise the health of your natural teeth.

Additional Implant-Related Services

Sinus Lift Graft

Sometimes the sinuses will get larger after the loss of the upper back teeth.  Since a dental implant needs to be surrounded by bone, and sinuses are air-filled cavities, a sinus lift and bone graft must be done before an implant can be placed in the area.  The sinus lift and bone augmentation procedure restores sinuses to their original size and replaces the bone that was lost due to the enlargement of the sinuses.  This new bone graft takes about nine to twelve months to heal before the dental implants can be placed.

Bone Grafting

In the event the patient has insufficient bone to support the placement of implants a bone grafting can be done.  During this procedure bone is taken from another area of the patients mouth, often the chin or the back of the jaw, and grafted into the area that needs it.  The newly placed bone fuses with the bone already there, creating a strong support for the implant.

Development of the Implant Site

It is not uncommon to find bone loss in an area where an infected tooth has been removed.  When this occurs bone grafting can be done at the same time as the tooth is removed.  This is known as developing the implant site.  Once the graft is healed, the implant can be positioned in the grafted area.

Computer-Aided Treatment Planning

Special computer software allows us to evaluate CT scans in three dimensions.  This allows us to diagnose bone quality, bone quantity and bone location to ensure the best possible placement of each implant.

Dental Implant Maintenance

It’s important to keep your dental implant restored teeth clean and free of infection.  Dental implants can attract and accumulate plaque and tartar in the same way as any other teeth.  Talk to your dentist about caring for your newly restored teeth and professional cleaning schedule.

The better you care for your replacement teeth, the longer they last.

Contact our dental office and make an appointment.  We are here to help: (802) 878-5591

Meet Your Dentists

Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
“I enjoy being able to take care of people on a daily basis, whether it is getting them out of pain, improving their smile, or simply keeping them in excellent dental health. Having practiced over 30 years, I have enjoyed the relationships that I’ve developed with our family of patients.”

Full Biography

Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
“My profession means everything to me. It is what drives me every day and, other than my family, it is what I enjoy the most. Having the opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their smiles, and to work with people who enjoy it as well, is unexplainable.”

Full Biography

Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
“Some children dream to grow up and become astronauts or cowboys, but I’ve always wanted to be a dentist. Now my profession is my passion and my life. Every day is an adventure and the opportunity to help others is a gift to me.”

Full Biography

Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
“I view myself as an advocate for the patient’s health, not as some sort of Dentistry Dictator. My job is to give patients as many options as possible, explain the differences, and help them make decisions that fit their lives.”

Full Biography

What Sets Us Apart?


The professionals at Essex Family Dental are among the most skilled dental care teams in Vermont. Dr. J. Allen Feeley, Dr. Nathan Makay, Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco, and Dr. Jessica Hacker apply their expertise and consult with one another for the unique benefit of the people they treat.


Your ease at our practice is very important to us, whether that means a comfortable waiting room, painless treatment, or feeling informed about your care. Our doctors are happy to educate you about your treatment options and our staff is always gentle.


Essex Family Dental keeps the most convenient hours, offering appointments until 7pm Monday-Thursday, including morning and afternoon appointments on Friday and Saturday. We also schedule same-day treatment for patients with emergency needs.

A few words from our patients:

Four or five years ago, my son’s mother was not getting him to the dentist, and I only had him on the weekends, so I needed to find a dentist that had weekend hours. There are not many out there, and when I found EFD, I was pleasantly surprised. They have three or four dentists, but we have only ever seen Dr. Kanin. I like my other dentist as well, but the Saturday hours are what sold me on EFD. They also have a lot of evening hours available. Very convenient.
James M., YELP
Dr Feeley and staff has given great care for the past 6 years. What impresses me most is their reliance on technology…from playing Sirius for their music to taking digital X-rays, the technology is top notch. The staff is friendly and a pleasure to deal with. I have 5 kids and take three of them here and two of them elsewhere.
A dentist showing porcelain teeth to pacient
This office is wonderful! They are so nice and professional, and sensitive to those who have had past bad experiences (me) or are timid about the dentist (my daughter). I finally found a good dentist in the area!
Sara R, YELP