What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are prosthetic tooth replacements that consist of two parts: a root form and a dental crown. These are permanent replacements for missing teeth that look and function just like your natural teeth. Anything you can do with normal, healthy teeth, you can do with dental implants. There are no food restrictions, and you can brush and floss normally. In fact, once the process is completed no one will even know you had lost your teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
First, Dr. Potts will make certain you are a good candidate for dental implants. Generally you need to be in good overall health and have enough healthy bone structure in your jaw to support the root form. However, even if you’ve lost a lot of jawbone due to wearing dentures, we are able to do bone grafting procedures to enable you to get implants. If you are cleared, we’ll then surgically place the implants into your jawbone. You’ll need to leave time for healing after your surgery. During this time, a process known as oseointegration takes place. That means that your bone will grow around the root form securing the implant even further. Once this is done, Dr. Potts will place a custom-made crown that perfectly matches your other teeth, giving you a gorgeous, healthy smile.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Replacing one tooth: Implant verses Bridge
The advantages for implants differ in degree depending on whether you are replacing one tooth or multiple teeth. If you are just replacing one tooth, getting a dental implant or a dental bridge are about equal as treatments. With a dental implant you simply place the implant and crown. With a dental bridge, you’ll also place crowns on the two adjacent teeth with a prosthetic fixed between them. If you already need work on the adjacent teeth anyway, a dental bridge may be a good option. If not, it really is just a matter of your personal preference.
Replacing Multiple Teeth
When replacing multiple teeth, however, the advantages are more substantial. For many dental patients, wearing removable dentures can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. The dentures shift around, food gets under them, and they’ve even been known to slip out in public, causing embarrassment. You’ll face none of these issues with dental implants. They are comfortable and, when placed properly, completely secure. However, the biggest advantage to dental implants is the prevention of facial collapse.
When your teeth are removed, your body begins to reabsorb the minerals from your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. After about ten years, there is so little left of your jawbone that your face looks mashed together. Worse still, there will no longer be enough bone structure to support your dentures, making it very difficult to eat any normal food. This is not an issue with dental implants. Because the prosthetic root form is placed into your jawbone, it signals to your body that the bone structure is still needed. This prevents any further bone loss due to reabsorption, giving you a healthy bite for years to come.
Choosing An Implant Dentist
There is not an implant dentist specialty, so you want to make sure your dentist has extensive post-graduate training in all aspects of implant procedures. A general dentistry degree does not give enough training in dental implants. When deciding on your implant dentist, don’t hesitate to ask what kind of training they have received. It wouldn’t hurt to know how many of the procedures he or she has successfully placed.
You can be assured that Dr. Potts is thoroughly qualified to place your implants. After dental school he completed a three-year externship at the Midwest Implant Institute, including courses in surgery, prosthetics, and bone grafting.
If you would like to see if you are a dental implant candidate, you may call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation (847) 362-6540. This gives you about 10 minutes to sit with Dr. Potts and ask any questions you have regarding the procedure. If you prefer, you may click here to request an appointment online.
Click here to view some patient testimonials about Dental Implants.