What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Chicago Dental Implants, Oral & Facial Surgery is committed to ensuring your optimal comfort and quality care. We use the latest techniques to ensure efficient, stress-free treatment.
Dental implants may be paired with replacement crowns for full tooth replacement. They may also be used to anchor dentures. Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer will recommend your teeth replacement plan based on your individual needs and preferences.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are an aesthetic, effective solution for tooth loss. There are many great benefits to choosing dental implants. Dental implants can:
- Restore your smile
- Improve your oral health
- Improve your speech
- Improve comfort
- Improve function
- Protect healthy bone structure
- Provide a long-term tooth replacement solution
There are several factors that Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer will consider before recommending dental implants. Some of these include:
- Adequate bone support to anchor the implant
- Healthy gum tissue
- Sinus and nerve location
- Overall health, including any chronic illnesses
In some cases, Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer may recommend advance treatment for your upper or lower jaw. Your individual plan is based on your unique needs and goals for your healthy smile. Be sure to let us know about any medications you are taking. Your health and safety are paramount.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While our team performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
A single prosthesis (dental crown) is used to replace one missing tooth each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Drs. Bouchelion, and Guyer perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
What Type of Anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the dental implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
To see if dental implants may be right for you, contact us for a consultation.