Missing or damaged teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Many Wheaton, IL patients turn to dental implants as a long-lasting way to not only restore their smile, but to eat and speak more comfortably. Dental implants serve as a substitute tooth root to create a stable foundation for replacement teeth.
Why Are Dental Implants the Preferred Method of Tooth Replacement?
There is a myriad of reasons why Wheaton, IL patients choose dental implants as a preferred option for tooth replacement:
- Replacement teeth are held securely in place and will not slip or move while eating or speaking, which can occur with removable dentures.
- Dental implants fuse with existing bone creating a strong bond and helping prevent bone loss.
- They preserve the integrity of adjacent teeth. Bridges and partial dentures require these teeth to be cut down, while dental implants do not.
- Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and do not need to be replaced, unlike other forms of tooth replacement.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a variety of benefits that can be appealing to patients when considering the future of their oral health:
- Designed to Last a Lifetime: Dental implants are made of a durable, biocompatible titanium that will not deteriorate over time. The implant seamlessly fuses with existing bone and has a success rate of more than 95%, outperforming other options such as tooth-supported bridges or dentures. In addition, dental implants do not need to be removed and are cared for just like natural teeth.
- Preserves Bone and Facial Structures: One of the consequences of missing teeth is bone resorption because there is no tooth root to stimulate the bone. Dental implants take the place of the natural tooth root and help maintain the shape and structure of the face by preventing bone from shrinking and other teeth from shifting.
- A Healthier Smile: Tooth-supported bridges and partial dentures rely on support from adjacent teeth that often must be filed down to hook these devices in place. This can damage teeth and cause them to loosen over time. Dental implants fit snugly between teeth without compromising their health.
- Natural Appearance: Dental implants look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. They are custom-made to fit precisely into the gaps left by missing teeth and blend with remaining teeth for a natural appearance. You can continue to eat the foods you enjoy and smile with confidence.
How Do Dental Implants Compare to Other Options?
No two patients are exactly the same, but dental implants are an effective option for most. The benefits outweigh the risks of leaving a gap or dealing with the challenges of full or partial dentures or tooth-supported bridges. They can also be more cost effective in the long run.
How Will My Surgeon Determine Whether I am a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Wheaton, IL dentists refer patients to Oral and Facial Surgery of Naperville for dental implants due to our knowledge and experience in the field. The first step is to schedule a consultation to review your oral health and determine your needs and goals. The surgeon will evaluate factors such as:
- The number of dental implants needed and their location
- The condition of available bone to support the implants
- Any other procedures that may be required to prepare for implant surgery such as tooth extraction or bone grafting
Next, a variety of images will be taken of your teeth, bones, and facial structure. Advanced technology makes this a painless process while creating a highly precise and detailed view of your mouth. These images help the surgeon diagnose any issues and develop a targeted treatment plan. Once the surgeon reviews all of the available information and imaging, they will work with you to decide if dental implants are the right option for you.
Your surgeon is happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have so that you can make an informed decision and feel more confident in the care you are receiving.
How Are Dental Implants Placed and Restored?
Following your consultation, your surgeon will develop a tailored treatment plan aligned with your goals. You may need to undergo tooth extraction to prepare the surgical site for one or more implants. If there is not sufficient bone to support the dental implant, bone grafting may be necessary to build a stronger foundation. In some cases, these procedures can be performed at the same time as dental implant surgery. In other cases, they must be performed prior to placement of any implants and allowed several weeks to heal. Your surgeon will let you know about what procedures are necessary, the timeline, and recovery time.
- Implant Placement: You will be given anesthesia to keep you comfortable and prevent any pain. The surgeon will drill a small hole in your jawbone and insert the implant into the precisely determined position. The implant may be covered with your gums to heal, or a small cap will be placed on top. If the implant is left uncovered, a temporary crown can be attached for aesthetic purposes. It will take several weeks for the implant to fuse with the bone.
- Abutment Attachment: Once the implant is securely bonded with the jawbone, a small connector called an abutment is screwed into the top. This is the piece that will hold the replacement crown in place. Your surgeon will work with your dentist to choose the right abutment to fit your new crown so that it is held firmly in place and blends naturally with adjacent teeth. Abutment attachment is performed in your oral surgeon’s office.
- Replacement Teeth: After the surgeon has placed the abutments, your dentist will take impressions and images in order to custom design your new crown, bridge, or dentures. These impressions are sent to a dental technician who fabricates the teeth to the dentist’s exact specifications. This includes matching the shape and color of surrounding teeth. Once your new teeth are created, the dentist will attach them to the abutment leaving you with a full, beautiful smile.
You Are in Good Hands with Our Doctors
Our board-certified surgeons take the time to listen to your needs and concerns to develop a solution that works for you. They have a wealth of experience with dental implant surgery and guide you along each step of treatment so that you feel comfortable and confident in your care and the restoration of your smile.