Dental implants are one of many procedures designed to help people resume their daily lives and not live life on hold. Many people may think they’re just another cosmetic procedure designed to help people feel better about themselves. Dr. Mehta’s and her excellent team at Chicago Loop Dentistry are here to tell you that dental implants are so much more than another procedure. They offer people so many benefits and improve one’s quality of life drastically.
Dental implants (as well as other dental procedures) can be difficult to understand, especially if you’re not an expert in the field. That’s completely okay. Chicago Loop Dentistry is here to help answer any of your questions throughout the whole dental implant process from start to finish. This article helps you understand everything you need to know about dental implants ahead of time, so you feel confident every step of the way.
First, read about what dental implants are and what they’re composed of. Next, you’ll read about the different types of dental implants. You’ll also learn about the advantages dental implants offer patients and just how helpful they can be. After that, explore what’s involved in a dental procedure and how long the whole process for dental implants takes. Lastly, learn how you can set up appointments with Dr. Mehta for dental implants to be on your way to your best self possible.
Dental implants are a completely man-made substitute for your tooth. They replace the entire tooth down to its root.
There are many reasons why someone might get dental implants, including:
An implant is composed of three main parts. The first part is the implant body. Usually made from titanium, it’s surgically placed in, on, or slightly above your jawbone. Over time, your mouth fuses with the implant body to keep your tooth in place. You can think of the implant body as the root of your tooth.
The second part is the abutment, or post as it’s sometimes referred to. The abutment is also made from titanium and gets placed inside the implant body. It’s secured to the body and has a post sticking up where the man-made tooth sits.
Lastly there’s the crown. Made to take the shape of the old tooth that was once there, the crown gets placed on the abutment. They can be made from many materials, including ceramics, porcelain, resin, and certain metals.
Endosteal implants are the most common types of implants. With this implant type, the implant body is screwed into your jawbone. Over time, your jawbone fuses with the implant body to act as one cohesive unit.
Subperiosteal implants are used if you don’t have a strong enough jawbone to support endosteal implants being screwed into them. With this type of implant, the implant body is placed on or above your jawbone (inside the gums) to hold the new tooth. Over time, your gums fuse with the implant body to act as one unit.
A single-tooth procedure is a procedure done when you only need or want one tooth replaced with a dental implant. People who get single-tooth procedures get them usually because of their teeth chipping/decaying or another similar issue.
Multi-tooth procedures are completed when someone has a few teeth missing but doesn’t need their entire set of teeth replaced. There are a variety of reasons why one may want or need multi-tooth dental implants, including cosmetic reasons and oral health reasons to name a few.
A full-mouth procedure is the most involved type of dental implant procedure. As its name implies, individuals who get full-mouth procedures have all of their teeth replaced with dental implants. This procedure is the most involved and usually requires more healing time than a single or multi-tooth procedure.
As mentioned briefly earlier, dental implants give you more than a pretty smile. Here are some of the top benefits that dental implants give qualified patients.
Another benefit that dental implants give patients is improved speech. Having decaying, chipped, and crooked teeth all may make it difficult to speak and can make talking uncomfortable after a while. Even if someone has dentures, speaking may be labored due to dentures sliding around or coming dislodged, especially if people aren’t used to them.
Because dental implants are fixed in/above one’s jaw and are given adequate time to heal, they’re like brand-new teeth once the whole implant process is finished. Say goodbye to slurred speech and difficulty talking with dental implants.
One of the biggest advantages that individuals who get dental implants receive is how much easier it is to eat once the implants are fully healed. Especially for patients who originally got dental implants to help with an oral health issue, eating won’t be painful, difficult, or harmful to their overall oral health any longer.
Eating with dental implants is also much easier than eating with dentures, which is an alternative to dental implants. Even if you have good-quality denture adhesive, many people find their dentures sliding around or being uncomfortable when eating. Because dental implants are fixed into patients’ mouths, they don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable while eating.
An improved jaw structure not only serves as a great cosmetic upgrade for people but does wonders for one’s health too. Even if individuals only have one missing tooth, their facial structure and jaw will adapt to this change over time. Instead of having a full face of teeth and proper jaw structure, individuals with missing teeth may have facial features that start to sink in or sag where the natural tooth once was.
This poses a few issues. One is that you may experience bone loss or bone decay due to there being nothing in the jaw where the tooth was. Your body will notice there’s nothing there and start to dissolve the bone around your tooth hole.
Another issue that may occur is that your jaw’s structure may start to shift and accommodate the open space that is left by the missing tooth. Humans’ mouths are really adaptive; your mouth and other teeth will naturally start to shift and fill that space which isn’t healthy for your oral health. Especially if you’ve had braces, retainers, or other teeth-corrective measures in the past, you want to try to prevent your jaw shifting to an unnatural position as much as possible.
There are a multitude of reasons why people get dental implants. While some patients get a full-mouth procedure as a cosmetic way to feel more confident about their mouths, many get procedures to alleviate some sort of dental health problem.
We’ve all been there before- biting down on a piece of food and all of a sudden getting a stinging sensation or a soreness that wasn’t there before eating. Many dental implant patients experience this discomfort or pain for a majority of their daily lives. While they may experience discomfort during the healing process, the discomfort goes away entirely once the dental implants are fully healed. Gone are the days of pain and discomfort due to toothache or jaw pain!
One of the biggest reasons why many people choose to get dental implants is because they want to improve the look of their smiles. More than 7 out of 10 people in the United States report they’re self-conscious about their teeth, with many wishing they could change their smiles in some way. Dental implants give people a fresh set of pearly whites, instantly boosting confidence and giving their mouths looking like natural teeth.
Removable dentures and other alternatives don’t last nearly as long as dental implants (even with proper oral hygiene), which becomes costly and annoying to fix. After all, the last thing you want to worry about is having to make another dental appointment to get a tooth repaired or a new set of dentures because of them just not working the way you imagined they would.
If taken care of properly with regular dental visits, brushing, and flossing, the dental implant screw can last a lifetime because it’s made of hardy titanium. Even the crown portion of the dental implant lasts for years before it may need to be replaced. Crowns usually have a lifespan of anywhere from 10-15 years before they start to get some noticeable wear and tear that could need replacing.
Unfortunately, the dental implant process isn’t just a two-day procedure with a quick healing time. Depending on the person, it can take many months to fully heal from the dental implant surgery you get. Here’s a general overview of what you can expect to happen over the course of your procedure.
The first step to any new dental procedure requires an initial meeting and conversation with the patient. At your first dental implant appointment, Dr. Mehta will get an in-depth understanding of why you want/need dental implants, how many dental implants you need, and anything else specific to your wants and needs for the dental implant procedure. Additionally, she’ll examine your current mouth structure, bone strength, and anything specific to your patient history that affects the dental implant procedure as a whole.
Receiving dental implants doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking or worrisome experience. It’s completely understandable why you may have nerves though, which is why Chicago Loop Dentistry is here to help you out. We’ll strive to make you as comfortable and well-informed about the procedure as possible so you know what’s going on every step of the way.
At the end of your general consultation, Dr. Mehta will give you a rough timeline of the events that happen next. Additionally, her or someone from her talented team of dental associates will help schedule you a follow-up appointment to go over your personalized dental implant procedure and treatment plan.
After your general consultation, Dr. Mehta will craft a specialized and fully customized dental implant plan for you. She’ll use her best judgment and select dental implant materials that work best for your lifestyle and preferences learned about in your consultation with her. Dr. Mehta and the rest of her team that will work with you throughout the process will also create an approximate timeline of events, treatment procedures, dietary plans, and anything else to help make the dental implant process as smooth as possible.
Dental implants require a specific plan for each individual. It’s important that you get a plan that’s tailored to your specific health needs and personal preferences, which is why Dr. Mehta and the rest of the caring dental staff at Chicago Loop Dentistry work hard to get everything done right the first time around. Once your personal implant plan is created, you’ll have another appointment with Dr. Mehta. Here, she’ll give you details about everything you need to know about the entire dental implant process. You’ll receive your personalized plan, general knowledge about the procedures themselves, and learn about what next steps are.
In some cases, patients need other procedures before receiving dental implants to ensure their mouths are primed and ready for the procedure. There are a variety of reasons why your mouth might not be ready to go right out of the gate, and that’s perfectly okay. Here’s a list of the possible procedures some patients need and what they do to help.
After Dr. Mehta ensures your mouth and jawbone can properly accommodate your dental implants, it’s time for the first official implant procedure. With this procedure, the implants are placed in your mouth. If you have endosteal implants, they’ll be secured in holes that are made in your jawbone. If you have subperiosteal implants, they’ll be placed on top of your jawbone.
When the implants are properly secured, it’s time to let them heal and integrate with the rest of your bone structure. This process is called osseointegration, and is a fancy way of describing how your jawbone grows into the implant and acts as one unit once the healing and growing is complete. How long this process takes depends on multiple things, like how many implants you’re getting and how long it takes your body to heal.
While you may be uncomfortable for a few days after, most patients are able to return to their normal, daily activities within a day or two.
After your implants are fully healed and integrated with the rest of your jawbone, the abutment (post) part of the implants is installed. During this step. Dr. Mehta creates a slight opening in your gums to properly connect the post to the implant itself. This step is far less invasive than the first procedure, and usually only requires local anesthesia to complete.
Once all the posts are attached to the implants, it’s time to let them heal. During this time, you may receive a temporary crown or set of dentures so you can still eat and talk properly.
Fresh impressions are taken after the posts are installed on the implants. This allows Dr. Mehta to create customized teeth that match your facial structure and desired tooth color. Before installing the final replacement teeth, Dr. Mehta will show you the implants and the teeth she creates to ensure they look how you want them to look.
The final step is to place your newly-created crowns on the abutment posts! After all your teeth are placed into their positions and you approve of them, you’ll be on your way and good to go.
That’s it! You’re all finished with procedures. It’s important to note that you must follow all post-op procedures, special diets (like having to eat soft foods), and anything else while you wait for any remaining swelling or bruising to go down. This ensures your new smile is perfect and just the way you want it.
If you have any questions at any point in the process, feel free to give Dr. Mehta a call. You may have a follow-up appointment months down the road to assess the overall status of your jawbone and new teeth.
You can start the process for dental implants at any time. Whether you’re visiting Dr. Mehta for a routine check-up or want to make a separate consultation, you’re welcome any time. Simply contact Dr. Mehta or a dental associate at Chicago Loop Dental and we’ll get you started with the process by setting up a consultation for you. We’ll work closely with you every step of the way to ensure you get the highest-quality care possible. If you’re interested in dental implants, contact us today by calling (312)-548-7795 or by booking an appointment with us here.
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