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What Are Dental Implants?
Glenview, IL


Older man looking at his new dental implants at Chicago Dental Esthetics in Glenview, ILImprovements in dental technology in recent years have brought about revolutionary advancements in the field of restorative dentistry. One of these advancements is dental implants, which stand out as a sophisticated and durable solution for individuals dealing with missing teeth.
 
People usually think of dentures as the go-to tooth replacement option. However, dentures are in many ways outperformed by dental implants. Tooth roots stimulate the jawbone and keep it healthy, but if teeth are lost the jawbone loses this stimulation and starts to atrophy, resulting in a sagging facial appearance. Dentures rest atop the gums, so while they may allow patients to speak and eat normally they don't penetrate deep down and thus cannot prevent the deterioration of the jawbone.
 
Dental implants are made of a biocompatible material (usually titanium) and are surgically inserted into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. As a result, the jawbone is stimulated and can remain healthy. This is an amazing benefit that traditional dentures can never provide.
 

Dental Implant Components


 
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots designed to permanently replace missing teeth. Typically made of biocompatible materials like titanium, these implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, providing a solid foundation for the attachment of replacement teeth. The primary components of a dental implant include the implant itself, an abutment that connects the implant to the replacement tooth, and the prosthetic tooth or crown.
 

The Dental Implant Procedure


 
The process of obtaining dental implants involves several key steps, beginning with the initial assessment. Before undergoing the implant procedure, patients undergo a comprehensive dental examination. This assessment includes X-rays, scans, and a thorough evaluation of the patient's oral health to determine the feasibility of the implant.
 
Next is the surgical placement of the implants, which is performed under local anesthesia. Dr. Samantha Rabor carefully places the implant into the jawbone and the surrounding gum tissue is sutured. Over the next few months, the implant undergoes a process called osseointegration where it fuses with the jawbone, creating a stable and durable foundation.
 
After osseointegration is successful, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment serves as a link between the implant and the prosthetic tooth.
 
The final step involves attaching the custom-made prosthetic tooth or crown to the abutment. This replacement tooth is meticulously crafted to match the color, shape, and size of the surrounding natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural appearance.
 

Types of Dental Implants


 
Different types of implants are available, each of which is intended for different conditions.
 

Endosteal Implants


 
Endosteal implants are the most common type of implant. They can support individual crowns, bridges, or even dentures, depending on the patient's needs. Endosteal implants are well-suited for patients with sufficient jawbone density and a healthy oral environment.
 

Zygomatic Implants


 
Zygomatic implants are meant for individuals with significant bone loss in the upper jaw. Instead of anchoring in the jawbone, zygomatic implants are placed in the cheekbone (zygoma), providing stability for prosthetic teeth. This method avoids the need for extensive bone grafting procedures.
 
In addition to single tooth dental implants, other options are available for patients who have lost multiple teeth.
 

Implant-Supported Bridges


 
Implant-supported bridges act as strong foundations for prosthetic teeth, allowing the bridge to span the gap seamlessly and restore both function and aesthetics. Traditional bridges rely on adjacent teeth for support, in which case we may need to remove enamel from these teeth to attach the bridge. By contrast, implant-supported bridges are anchored to dental implants, preserving the integrity of neighboring teeth.
 

All-on-4


 
The All-on-4 method allows for the replacement of a full arch of prosthetic teeth with just four strategically placed implants. All-on-4 implants boast reduced treatment times, minimized surgical procedures, and enhanced stability.
 
Multiple tooth dental implants offer numerous benefits, but factors such as the extent of tooth loss, overall oral health, and individual preferences will determine which is the best option for a given patient.
 

Factors Influencing Dental Implant Success


 
Several factors play a critical role in determining the success and longevity of dental implants. First of all, we aim to ensure that osseointegration occurs properly. The integration of the implant with the jawbone is a pivotal factor. Factors such as bone quality, patient health, and surgical precision determine the success of osseointegration.
 
Excessive bite force or teeth grinding (bruxism) can exert undue pressure on dental implants. Patients who experience this may need custom bite guards to protect their implants from these forces.
 
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is also crucial for the success of dental implants. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings help prevent infections that could compromise the implants.
 
Habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect the healing process and increase the risk of implant failure. Patients are often advised to quit smoking and moderate alcohol intake for better implant outcomes.
 
The general health of the patient also plays a role in their candidacy and the success of their implants. For example, conditions like diabetes and autoimmune disorders can impact the body's ability to heal and influence the success of dental implants.
 

Longevity of Dental Implants


 
Research and clinical studies consistently demonstrate high success rates for dental implants. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that dental implants have a success rate ranging from 95-98%. Many patients report that their dental implants last for 20 years or more, highlighting their durability and effectiveness as a long-term solution.
 

Advances in Dental Implant Technology


 
Ongoing advancements in dental implant technology contribute to the enhanced longevity and overall success of this tooth replacement option. Continuous research has led to the development of advanced implant materials such as zirconia and enhanced titanium alloys. These materials offer increased strength, biocompatibility, and corrosion resistance. Computer-guided implant surgery allows for precise planning and placement of implants, minimizing the risk of complications and optimizing the chances of successful osseointegration.
 
Traditional dental implant procedures involve a healing period before attaching the final crown. However, immediate loading, or same-day implants, allows for the placement of a temporary crown on the day of surgery, reducing treatment time. Laser-assisted procedures promote faster healing, reduce inflammation, and enhance the overall success of dental implants.
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What are Dental Implants? Glenview • Chicago Dental Esthetics
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Chicago Dental Esthetics - Dr. Samantha Rabor, 450 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025; (224) 341-5162; chicagodentalesthetics.com; 5/20/2024; Page Phrases: dentist Glenview IL;