Choosing Dental Implants
Dental implants are most commonly used to replace missing teeth, but they can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment as well. Missing teeth affect your appearance and confidence, as well as can lead to overall health problems as well.
Some of the dental and health problems associated with missing teeth are:
- Inability to chew certain foods, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies in the body
- Improper alignment of the jaw, leading to painful TMD
- Teeth that shift out of alignment due to the empty space around them
- Difficulty speaking, depending on where the missing teeth are located
- Deterioration of the jawbone
- Changes in the facial structure
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are one of the best techniques for fixing tooth loss. The procedure does take some time and several visits to the office, but results are worth it. Dental implants also have a very high success rate. The procedure takes place over several steps:
- First, the implant, made of a titanium screw, is surgically placed into a patient’s jawbone. Over time, usually three to four months, the jaw bone will grow around the implant screw, permanently fusing it to the bone.
- Second, after the implant has fused to the patient’s jawbone, then a temporary crown will be placed on the implant posts. The patient will have to wait for another couple months in order for their gums to properly grow around the temporary crown.
- Lastly, once the gums have healed and re-grown to the proper form, then a permanent crown will be placed and the patient’s new smile is complete
Dental implants have several benefits over dentures and bridges:
- Since dental implants are attached to your jaw bone, they have the look and feel of natural teeth. They also help prevent gum recession and changes in your facial structure.
- Dental implants can increase your confidence because you are able to speak and eat normally and you don’t have to deal with the glues needed for dentures.
- Since dental implants allow you to leave in your surrounding teeth, they help maintain better oral health. Dentures would require removal of all your natural teeth and bridges require the enamel on surrounding teeth to be removed so it can be supported.
- Dental implants have a very high success rate and they are a permanent option which makes them very reliable.
Good Candidates for Dental Implants
It’s important to remember that not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. The ideal candidate will have:
- Good general and dental health
- The proper amount of bone in their jaw to properly support the implant
- Healthy gum and mouth tissue with no periodontal disease
- Finished growing so that the jaw bone has reached its mature state. Dental implant procedures are not performed on people under 18-years-old due to their body’s continuous growth, which continues into the early 20s.
If you live in the Chicago or Evanston area and have missing teeth, implant dentistry could be a great option for you. Please contact Colonial Dental Group to set up a consultation with our experienced implant dentists.