WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERING DENTAL IMPLANTS
A big factor in a healthy, beautiful smile is having all of your teeth. Even a single missing tooth, whether the gap is visible or hidden in your back teeth affects the health and appearance of your smile. The good news is that with modern dental implants, you can replace one, several, or all your teeth with natural-looking restorations that don't require special care. Our team of dental professionals at DentalWorks - Forest Park is happy to be able to offer many different types of implant-supported restorations for our patients in Forest Park, IL. If you're missing one tooth or more, read on to learn about the advantages of dental implants, the different implant and restoration options, who's a good candidate for dental implants, how implants are placed, and how you care for your implants once they are in. If you're ready to learn more about dental implants after reading this article, contact our office in Forest Park, IL to schedule an oral health examination and implant consultation.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS OVER TRADITIONAL RESTORATIONS
Traditional restorations for missing teeth (dental bridges and removable dentures) have been helping people for a long time, but now, there's a newer, better option. Traditional restorations require special care, come with food restrictions, and often don't feel stable or look natural. Additionally, without the tooth root to stimulate the gums and jawbone, atrophy sets in and eventually affects the health and appearance of your mouth. Dental implants keep the gums and jawbone stimulated while providing a stable base for the attached restoration. Implant-supported restorations can be treated like your natural teeth, which means no food restrictions and no overnight soaking.
TYPES OF IMPLANT-SUPPORTED RESTORATIONS
Whether you only need one tooth replaced, several, or all of them, DentalWorks - Forest Park offers a wide range of implant-supported restorations.
- IMPLANT-SUPPORTED DENTURES
To replace all the teeth on your top and/or bottom arch, custom-made dentures can be attached to multiple dental implants. It typically takes at least four well-placed implants per arch to support the dentures.
- IMPLANT-SUPPORTED BRIDGE
For one or a few teeth, an implant-supported bridge may be attached to one or more dental implants. For added support, the false teeth or tooth will be connected to both the implant(s) and a hollow crown(s) placed over a neighboring tooth.
- IMPLANT-SUPPORTED PARTIAL DENTURES
Replacing many but not all of your teeth, implant-supported partial dentures attach to multiple implants to fill in gaps. The false teeth attached to the implants will be custom made to blend with your remaining teeth for a seamless smile.
- IMPLANT-SUPPORTED CROWN
To replace a single missing tooth, a dental implant can be attached to a crown. The implant-supported crown will be shaped and shaded to blend with your other teeth for a natural-looking result.
BEST CANDIDATES FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Before you can get an implant-supported restoration, your dentist in Forest Park, IL will need to determine if you are a good candidate. In general, you will need to have good oral health, which includes strong gums and a dense jawbone. If your gums and/or jaw have atrophied and cannot support an implant, your dentist may suggest gum or bone grafting. This will add to your total treatment time, but it will help make sure your implant is secure in your mouth before a restoration is added. Dental implant candidates should not use tobacco products (smoking, chewing, or vaping) since this will interfere with the attachment of the implant to the gums and jawbone.
THE IMPLANT PROCESS
Dental implants can take a little more time than traditional restorations, but most patients agree that the results are worth it. Once your dentist has determined you are a good candidate for dental implants, they will create a schedule for your treatment plan. If needed, tooth extractions, gum grafts, and/or bone grafts will be performed to prepare your mouth. Then, your implant surgery can be scheduled. Typically performed with IV sedation, your dentist will screw the implant post(s) into strategic points through the gum tissue and into the jaw. They will also take physical or digital impressions, which will be sent to a dental laboratory to help them design your custom restoration. After implant surgery, your mouth may feel a little sore as your gums and jawbone integrate with the post(s). It's important to follow all the post-surgical instructions provided by your dentist to help prevent an infection and promote faster healing. It will take about 3 – 6 months before the post(s) is strong enough. During this time, your dentist will probably place a temporary restoration or cover over the post for protection. Once your dentist determines the post(s) is strong enough, they will attach your custom crown, bridge, or dentures. Small adjustments may be needed to make sure your implant-supported restoration is comfortable and secure. It may take a little time for you to adjust to your implanted restoration, but in time, you should be smiling, eating, and talking with ease.
CARING FOR YOUR IMPLANTS
One of the biggest advantages of an implant-supported restoration is that it should be cared for just like your natural teeth. That includes brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste and flossing once a day. Many dentists also recommend rinsing your mouth after lunch with mouthwash to help rinse away debris, plaque, and bacteria. In addition to a good home oral care routine, you should schedule appointments with a dentist in Forest Park, IL at least twice a year for an annual oral health examination and bi-annual professional cleaning. During these appointments, your dentist can check the health and wear of your implanted restoration. They will let you know if the restoration and/or implant needs to be repaired or replaced.
DENTAL IMPLANTS CAN RESTORE THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY OF YOUR SMILE
Implant-supported restorations have improved the lives of many men and women in Forest Park, IL. If you are missing any number of teeth and are interested in restoring your smile with dental implants, contact DentalWorks - Forest Park to schedule an oral health examination and consultation. Our team of dental professionals will work with you to determine if you are a good candidate and develop your personalized treatment plan that will get you on the path to a beautiful smile with a custom, implant-supported restoration.