You may not realize just how serious tooth loss is until you’ve actually lost some or all of your teeth. Even if you haven’t lost your teeth, damaged teeth can seriously impair the function and appearance of your mouth, as well as your overall oral health. In the past, dentists relied on dentures and bridges to remedy these issues. Today, your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, provides dental implants to replace your teeth with a prosthetic that mimics nature’s design.
Reconstructing Your Mouth: The Dental Implant Process
Wondering how Dr. Fondriest and his team create an enhanced version of your former mouth? The result is stunning, but before deciding if implants are right for you, it is important to understand the dental implant procedure. Made of specially treated, biocompatible titanium, a root implant is placed into the bone socket of your missing tooth. Since your bone is attracted to titanium, it naturally grows around the implant in a process called osseointegration.
Patients should expect a recovery period of three months or more for the jaw to grow strong around the implant. You can expect some discomfort and soreness during this time. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil will help to manage the discomfort.
Once your implant post is solid and ready to take on the pressure of chewing and biting, you’re ready for the final phase of the implant procedure. Dr. Fondriest will attach a small connector to the post, and it will secure the replacement tooth, known as the crown; however, a few implants can also anchor a bridge or full denture.
Dental Implant Advantages
While dental implants may at first seem like an invasive procedure, when you consider that they are independently anchored, you’ll begin to recognize implants as a conservative option for tooth replacement.
For a traditional partial denture, metal clasps snap onto healthy teeth. This puts an undue workload on healthy teeth, which can cause them to loosen over time. Full dentures may be held in place with natural suction, an adhesive on the top, or an adhesive on the bottom. Because there is no true anchor securing a full denture, these appliances have a tendency to slip and slide, making eating difficult. Some people find dentures uncomfortable and embarrassing. In addition, their daily care routine is quite involved.
Another benefit that many aren’t aware of is jawbone retention. Our jaw tissue remains strong when teeth roots are in place. When teeth are missing, the body sends nutrients elsewhere, because it assumes that the jaw’s strength is no longer essential. Dental implants stimulate jaw-bone tissue, whereas traditional partials and dentures do not. Many traditional partial and denture patients experience jawbone deterioration, which can lead to facial collapse and an aged appearance, as well as fragility of the jaw.
Maintaining Dental Implants
The success rate of dental implants is 98%. With good oral health, your dental implants should last a lifetime. There are certain steps to take to avoid complications, such as the bone failing to fuse correctly to the implant. Smoking can complicate this process and should be avoided during the healing time.
Bruxism can also negatively affect your dentures. If you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent further damage to your teeth and implants. Dr. Fondriest can also recommend other options to manage bruxism.
Contact Your Chicago Dentist Today to Learn More About Dental Implants
If you’re in the Lake Forest area, contact our dental office today at 847-234-0517. Dental Implants can drastically change your quality of life. Dr. Fondriest and our team are trained and experienced in providing patients with comfortable, hassle-free, beautiful dental implants and implant dentures. Dr. Fondriest serves Chicago and Chicago’s North Shore suburbs.