Oral injury, untreated gum disease, and other factors can leave teeth too damaged to save. Maybe you can't live with 'em anymore, but it won't take long to realize that you can't live without 'em either. At least, not if you want to be comfortable, smile freely, and eat your favorite foods.
Patients in Chicago and other cities have a lot of options when it comes to replacing teeth. You can get a crown-and-bridge unit, a traditional full denture, a partial with metal clasps, an all-plastic partial denture… The list goes on and on, but all of those options have two things in common. First, any of them is a vast improvement over going toothless. Second, none of them comes close to the stability of a real, healthy tooth.
This leaves us with one truly great solution. No, we can't put the real tooth back. Although scientists are working on ways to grow teeth, that technology probably won't be available in our lifetimes, so we need a good replacement here and now. You probably already know, the best choice for most people is dental implants. Your new teeth can look, feel, and function just like natural, healthy teeth. Just like real teeth, they are supported by the jawbone, thanks to tiny implants, surgically placed… Yes, we said the "S" word. If you run straight backwards at the thought of surgery, you aren't alone. Don't worry; the kind of "surgery" you are likely imagining, and the "surgery" for placing dental implants are two very different things.
There will be no operating tables, or doctors with enormous scalpels. Implants only require a small, shallow incision in the gum tissue – just enough to get the tiny implant through. Just a little local anesthetic, and you shouldn't feel a thing. The process is straightforward, efficient, and yes, comfortable. The steps are:
- Using x-rays, the ideal location for the implant is determined before your appointment, so it goes very smoothly and efficiently.
- In the first step, the area is numbed.
- Next is a very tiny incision.
- The implant is carefully put in place.
- The implant is topped with a protective collar, temporary restoration, or your new teeth.
What happens when the anesthetic wears off? Not much. Many of our patients say that they never feel any discomfort, and others report mild soreness, comparable to a healing socket where a tooth has been extracted. Although healing is very fast, there is another, slower, and painless process occurring. Known as osseointegration, it is a process of the bone adapting to the implant. It actually creates abundant new, healthy cells that attach themselves to the surface of implants. In fact, bone tissue doesn't seem to know the difference between an implant and a tooth root. Osseointegration takes a few weeks or months. For most types of implants, we wait until it is complete before adding the final restoration.
Call Big Smile Dental at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment today.