If you are missing one or more teeth, you already know that it can have a major impact on your quality of life. Missing a tooth can affect how your mouth functions, making it difficult to chew. It can also change your appearance and hinder your ability to speak normally. Left untreated, a missing tooth can also lead to the deterioration and shrinking of your jawbone over time which changes the appearance of your bone structure and can also lead to the loss of neighboring teeth.
As a result, replacing missing teeth is imperative to restoring the full function of your mouth and preserving your remaining teeth. At Northwest Endodontics, our endodontists provide our patients with dental implants, handling the complete preparation and implant process.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a popular, highly effective, and permanent tooth-replacement treatment option.
A dental implant consists of an anchor (a screw-like dental device that implants in the jawbone and acts like a natural tooth root) and an abutment (a connective piece that joins the abutment with the dental restoration). This is later topped with a permanent tooth restoration designed to look just like a patient’s natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth-replacement options, such as:
- Look, feel, and function just like natural teeth
- Deliver stimulation and pressure directly to the jawbone
- Encourage bone growth, maintain jawbone mass, and prevent the loss of neighboring teeth
How Dental Implants Can Be Used to Replaced Teeth
Dental implants act as root-like anchors for a variety of teeth replacement options. They can be used to replace a single missing tooth when topped with a dental crown or used to replace several missing teeth when attached to a dental bridge or denture.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process typically requires several months and can vary from patient to patient, depending on the work that needs to be done and the rate at which the patient’s body undergoes the healing process.
Consultation and Evaluation
Dental implantation begins with a consultation and evaluation, during which our endodontist discusses your tooth replacement goals and options. At this time, we take a CBCT scan of your jawbone, teeth, and facial structure. We discuss your medical history to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants and determine whether you will require bone grafting to prepare your jaw for the dental implant.
If there is not adequate jawbone available to support a dental implant, then bone grafting is required to bolster the jawbone. The grafting procedure is fairly simple and is followed by a waiting period during which your jawbone heals and generates new bone material.
Once adequate jawbone mass is present, the dental implant can be placed. This occurs in a simple surgical procedure performed with local anesthetics while the you are awake.
Healing and Osseointegration
Following implant placement, you will have a period of healing during which the jawbone fuses to the dental implant anchor.
Restoration With Your Restorative Dentist
Once fully healed, you can schedule an appointment with your primary dentist to receive a custom-designed dental restoration such as a dental crown, bridge, or full or partial denture.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
While dental implants are considered the most effective tooth-replacement treatment option, they are not always the best solution for everyone. Dental implant candidates must:
- Have adequate jawbone mass to support the necessary dental implants
- Be healthy enough to undergo the implant procedure
- Not smoke or use chewing tobacco
- Have generally good oral health and hygiene with no current signs of gum disease
Dental Implants With Our Endodontists in Park Ridge and Mount Prospect
To learn more about dental implants or to find out if you are a candidate for this popular tooth-replacement procedure, we welcome you to schedule a dental implant consultation with one of our endodontists in Park Ridge and Mount Prospect. Northwest Endodontics always welcomes new referrals.