Missing teeth can be a serious detriment to any smile. Not only can they strike a blow to one’s self confidence and appearance, but they can also have negative implications on surrounding teeth and overall oral health. Restoring lost teeth should therefore be a top priority for any patient, and we offer the highest quality restorative options at our Bolingbrook dental clinic.
Dental implants are one of the most effective and recommended methods for restoring one or more missing teeth. Whether they are used alone or in conjunction with another restoration, implants provide excellent support and function just like a natural tooth would, preserving the health of nearby teeth, gum, and bone. If you are considering your options for replacing any number of teeth, see why implants are a good choice for many of our patients.
HOW DO DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK?
Dental implants function similarly to a tooth’s roots. They are artificial screw-shaped fixtures that are fastened into the bone and gum tissue where the tooth previously was, and naturally integrate into the surrounding tissue structure. Once the implant is secured and the bone has healed around it, a restoration can be placed over it to replace the tooth’s crown. In this way, implants replace both the roots and crown of a tooth, as opposed to other restorations that simply replace the crown. Although the procedure requires oral surgery and recovery time, the long-term benefits of dental implants often surpass alternative restorative options.
THE BENEFITS OF IMPLANTS
Dental implants offer a range of benefits for patients, including:
- Increased support: By integrating with the jaw, implants provide their attached restorations with strength, support, and stability beyond that of comparable treatment options.
- Preserved bone tissue: When a tooth’s roots are not replaced, bone tissue in the jaw begins to degrade over time, leading to a weaker jaw and changing facial structure. Implants preserve this tissue by holding it in place, helping patients retain their bite and even their appearance.
- Support for other restorations: Dental implants are not just useful for single crowns – when the time comes for larger restorations such as dental bridges or dentures, a few implants can be used to completely support and hold multiple tooth replacements, permanently. Implant-supported dentures, for instance, eliminate many of the problems traditionally associated with loose or ill-fitting dentures.
THE IMPLANT PROCEDURE
Patients who receive dental implants must undergo oral surgery to first have the implants installed, before allowing time for the implants to integrate with the jaw. After surgery, the osseointegration process tends to take between three to six months, during which time patients should take good care of their oral hygiene and temporary restorations. While diet may be slightly restricted to prevent disrupting the implant, most patients should not have their lifestyle significant interrupted beyond the initial week of post-operative recovery.
Once implants have successfully integrated and tissues have healed, a permanent restoration will be attached, which will appear and feel strikingly similar to a real tooth. After a successful recovery and restoration, a patient’s smile will be effectively and fully restored.
CANDIDATES FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants offer clear advantages to patients, but they require healthy gum and bone tissue in order to successfully integrate. If a patient has gum disease, for instance, he or she may need to manage it before implants can be installed. In many cases, this simply involves improved hygiene habits, but additional periodontal treatment may be necessary in more severe cases of disease.
Insufficient bone tissue is another reason for rejected candidacy. If a patient has suffered from gum disease or missing teeth for a prolonged period of time, the jaw may have already degraded to such an extent that implants cannot be safely supported. In this case, an alternative treatment may be recommended or patients may be recommended for a bone graft to bolster their jawbone structure. For additional information on whether you may be a good candidate for dental implants, schedule a personal consultation at our office.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
Your new smile is just a phone call or email away. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable dental professionals, and learn which treatment option will best help you smile beautifully and confidently once more.