Dental implants are one of the top requested dental procedures to restore a missing tooth, or to help stabilize dentures. Implants restore teeth from the roots to the crown. There are other ways to restore teeth, but the results are not always permanent, and may have other detrimental effects. In the cases of bridges and crowns, the bone mass of the jaw deteriorates because of lack of stimulation from tooth roots. This affects the lines of the face as the bone disappears. The implant itself is a small titanium rod that replaces the tooth root, and serves to transmit the necessary forces to retain the bone.
The dentist will assess the needs of the patient to create an individualized treatment plan. A local anesthetic will be applied while the implant is placed in the socket where the missing tooth had once been. Recovery from the surgery is fairly quick as the incisions are very small. There is a wait of approximately 6 to 12 weeks while the bone heals around the post, securing it in place and bonding the implant to the jawbone. During this time, any pain experienced by the patient can be controlled by over the counter NSAIDs or other pain medications, like Tylenol. Once the healing process – called Osseo Integration – is completed, the implant will be a permanent part of the jaw. The dentist will attach an abutment to the implant, on which the crown will be attached.
The crown is specially made to match in size, shape, and color to the patient’s other teeth. There is no special care required. The patient only needs to brush and floss as normal, and visit the dentist twice a year for checkups.
The implant procedure has been reported as no more painful than a tooth extraction, and is a fantastic restoration for lost teeth. It’s a permanent restoration, and will look and act just like one of the permanent teeth. Contact us at 773-772-8400 in the Chicago area with any questions and to schedule your appointment.