Teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but that does not always happen. You may find yourself with missing teeth that you want to replace to restore your smile, and dental implants are often a desirable option for Bolingbrook, IL patients. Implants take the place of the missing tooth roots and hold replacement crowns in place, functioning like natural teeth.
Why Are Dental Implants the Preferred Method of Tooth Replacement?
While there are several solutions for addressing missing teeth, including full or partial dentures and bridges, many patients are attracted to the long-term benefits of dental implants.
- They are the only treatment option that actively prevents bone deterioration that can occur following tooth loss or extraction.
- They do not cause damage to adjacent teeth because they function independently. Bridges and partial dentures require surrounding teeth to be ground down to affix them in place.
- Research has shown that dental implants have a long-term success rate of 95% or higher which outperforms other options.
- Dental implants seldom require additional treatment and are incredibly strong and durable meaning they may last the rest of a patient’s lifetime if cared for properly.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have become a top tooth replacement option for many reasons:
- Designed to Last a Lifetime: Dental implants are made of biocompatible materials that naturally fuse with existing bone and have little risk of rejection. They form a strong foundation to support replacement teeth, and unlike bridges or dentures, do not need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.
- Preserves Bone and Facial Structures: Missing teeth can lead to bone loss because there is no longer a root to stimulate bone growth and preservation. A dental implant functions as a new root to help prevent deterioration and protect the shape and stability of the jaw and face.
- A Healthier Smile: Dental implants fit snugly between existing teeth to hold them in place and prevent shifting. They do not attach directly to these teeth like bridges and partial dentures, therefore reducing risk of damage and preserving their structural integrity. This can keep teeth healthier and prevent potential complications.
Natural Appearance: Dental implants are precisely inserted to hold replacement teeth in the correct position. Crowns are custom-designed and color-matched to blend in with the shape, size, and shade of your existing teeth creating a beautiful, natural-looking smile. They also function like natural teeth allowing you to eat and speak more confidently.
How Do Dental Implants Compare to Other Options?
There are pros and cons for every tooth replacement option, and it is important for patients to discuss their individual situation with their doctor. However, many find that when comparing their choices, dental implants offer a multitude of advantages over other options, including being more overall cost effective.
How Will My Surgeon Determine Whether I am a Candidate for Dental Implants?
When faced with addressing missing teeth, many Bolingbrook, IL dentists refer their patients to the team at Oral and Facial Surgery of Naperville. Our doctors regularly perform dental implant surgery and guide patients through the process.
During the initial consultation, your doctor will review your dental history and discuss your needs and goals. They will examine your mouth to assess:
- Whether any bone resorption has occurred and if existing bone can support dental implants
- How many dental implants you may need and their location within your mouth
- If any additional treatment may be needed such as tooth extraction or bone grafting to support the desired outcome
Next, they will use advanced technology to create 3D images of your teeth and jaws in order to identify potential problems and create a detailed treatment plan. This painless procedure also provides a clear visual and guide for determining exactly where and how dental implants may be placed.
Your doctor will discuss their findings with you and whether dental implants are recommended. Do not hesitate to share any questions or concerns that you may have so that you can feel confident that you have the appropriate information to make an informed decision.
How Are Dental Implants Placed and Restored?
Once a custom treatment plan has been created that aligns with your individual needs and goals, your doctor will walk you through the dental implant process. If there are existing teeth that need to be removed, or bone grafting is necessary to enhance the quantity and quality of bone available, these procedures may be performed several weeks before implant surgery is scheduled to prepare the site and allow for healing. In some cases, these procedures can be performed at the same time as dental implant placement shortening the treatment timeline. This is determined on an individual basis.
- Implant Placement: On the day of surgery, you will receive anesthesia to help you relax and prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure. The oral surgeon will then drill a small hole in the bone and insert the titanium implant. They may cover the implant with the gum while it heals, or leave it exposed and attach a screw cover so that a temporary crown can be placed. It will take several weeks for the implant and bone to fuse together.
- Abutment Attachment: After the implant has fused with the bone during a process called osseointegration, the site will be strong enough to support a replacement tooth. Before the new tooth can be placed, the doctor must attach an abutment. This is a connector that goes between the dental implant and permanent crown. The oral surgeon will collaborate with your dentist to determine which type of abutment to use based on the design of the replacement teeth.
Replacement Teeth: The last step is to attach your new crown. Your dentist will custom design your replacement tooth so that it fits seamlessly with the size, shape, and color of the adjacent teeth. An impression will be taken of the area and sent to a dental technician who will manufacture the crown to your exact specifications. Once it is finished, the dentist will affix it to the abutment creating a secure hold and leaving you will a beautiful, full smile.
You Are in Good Hands with Our Doctors
The board-certified surgeons at Oral and Facial Surgery of Naperville are passionate about providing high-quality care and results. We take the time to listen your needs and concerns and determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you do need surgery, we work with you along each step of the way as we help restore your smile.