Dental Implants

Patient Education Resource

Chicago Dental Smiles serves these neighborhoods from our downtown Chicago dentist office: The Loop, Streeterville, River North, Near West Loop, Near South Loop, Lakeshore East, Gold Coast, Old Town and Lincoln Park.

WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Your downtown Chicago dentist, Mohit Joshi, DDS

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made out of titanium that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, requiring only local anesthesia in most cases. The implant is then topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Dental implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.

HOW DO DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK?

Your downtown Chicago dentist, Mohit Joshi, DDS

During a minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is placed under the gum in the space vacated by the missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it. There are certain situations where the implant or implants can have a tooth or teeth placed at the same time that the implant placement surgery is performed.

DENTAL IMPLANTS PROCEDURE

Your downtown Chicago dentist, Mohit Joshi, DDS

The length of the treatment from beginning to completion depends on the condition of the patients overall oral health. Some patients may not require any extra work, while patients with insufficient bone or gum tissue may require the use of bone grafts or the use of a smaller diameter implant known as a mini implant.

During the consultation, Dr. Joshi will go over options and create the ideal plan for your dental implant.

Overall, the dental implant procedure results in a tooth that is virtually impossible to distinguish from a natural tooth with the naked eye. This is due to the connection between the dental implant and the living bone of the jaw. A dental implant can be done on anyone after adolescence or when bone growth is complete, making it a very popular technique for the replacement of a missing tooth or teeth.

The first step is preparing the jaw for implantation. This is done by drilling a small hole in order to guide the first part of a dental implant (a titanium screw) and hold it in place.

Chicago Implant
Once the screw is in place the gum tissue is secured over the implant, which will eventually heal into place and protect the base of the screw. After, a protective cover screw is placed on top to allow the site to heal and to make sure the bone accepts the screw as if it were a natural tooth root. This is essential if the implant is going to properly function. In order for the next step to take place, Dr. Joshi will allow up to six months of healing to ensure the implant will function properly.

After sufficient healing, Dr. Joshi will uncover the implant and attach an abutment to the implant which will hold the permanent crown in place. Once the permanent crown or tooth-like replacement is in place, the procedure is complete, resulting in a natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth.

WHAT TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS ARE THERE WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Your downtown Chicago dentist, Mohit Joshi, DDS

Implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways. They can be used to:

Single Tooth Implants — When you have one tooth missing, a single dental implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.

Multiple Teeth Implants — When you have more than one tooth missing, dental implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.

Replace all Teeth — Dental Implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It’s comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won’t slip, and should last a lifetime. Learn more about All-On-4 dental implants.

Support Removable Dentures — Dental Implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom. But today we can attach a removable denture onto implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them. Learn more about implant supported dentures.