Dental implants are the strongest and most effective restoration methods available to restore both the function and the visual elements of your smile. They utilize titanium screws implanted into the jaw bone to act as artificial tooth roots that can support a dental prosthetic.
Did You Know?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, and can even be used to restore an entire smile. Dental implants can support crowns, dentures, and bridges to accomplish smile restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a dental implant look like?
Dental implants have three distinct pieces that are used for proper functioning. These three pieces include the implant, the abutment, and the dental prosthetic. The implant is the artificial root that is implanted into the jawbone. Usually the implant piece resembles a wood screw and is made from titanium, a biocompatible material. The abutment piece is a small metal connector that will then allow the dental prosthetic to be screwed into the implant. The dental prosthetic is the visual piece of the implant and can be either a crown, bridge, or denture.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Candidates for dental implants are individuals who have missing teeth or teeth that have become badly damaged or decayed. Individuals who wish to undergo the dental implant procedure must also have decent oral health as well as enough bone mass to support the implant. In order to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Dokhanchi and Dr. Micaletti of Fox Valley Dental today!
What if I don’t have enough bone mass for dental implants?
If you wish to get dental implants and are lacking the proper bone mass, you may need to have a bone graft. Bone grafts use bone taken from your own body or a specialized bone material, to build up the bone mass in the area where the implant will go. When the bone material is injected into the desired area, it will eventually harden into bone strong enough to support an implant. In some cases bone grafts can be performed while placing dental implants, however in other cases the bone graft may need to be completed before the dental implants can be placed.
How will my dental implants be placed?
To place your dental implants, our dentists will make a small incision in your gums to reach your jawbone. Then, they will start drilling a hole with a series of drill bites that are each slightly bigger than the last. The final drill bit will create threads in your bone for the dental implant to grab when it is inserted. Once the hole is completed, the titanium screw of the implant base is fixed into place and the gums are sutured closed. The abutment may also be attached at this time and will stick out of the gums. A provisional restoration may also be placed.
Once the implant base has been placed in the jaw bone, it will undergo osseointegration for about 3-6 months. Osseointegration is the name for the process of the bone fusing to the dental implant and anchoring it into place. The next phase of the implant process cannot be completed until this important step has occurred.
Finally, the dental prosthetic will be placed onto the dental implant through the abutment piece. If the abutment was not attached during the initial implant placement, it will need to be attached prior to placing the dental prosthetic. This requires a very small surgery and incision that may require a brief recovery period before placing the prosthetic. Once the prosthetic is placed, the dental implant process is complete.
What if my dental implant doesn’t work?
The vast majority of dental implant procedures are deemed successful by patients and dentists alike. However, as with any dental procedure, there is always the risk that the procedure will not yield successful results. Although extremely uncommon, dental implants can fail if they become infected, they undergo too much movement during the recovery period, or if the bone fails to fuse to the implant.
Depending on the reason for implant failure, it may be able to be resolved. If an implant fails, it can usually be replaced by another implant. There may also need to be additional treatment required for an infection or to perform a bone graft to add more bone mass. Keep in mind that this extra treatment can extend your overall treatment time. For example, if your implant becomes infected, another implant cannot be placed until the infection has been resolved. If your implant fails you will need to discuss this with our dentists to determine the best treatment decision.
Are dental implants expensive?
Dental implants have an average cost of $3,000-$4,500 per single tooth implants, however this figure varies depending on the extent of your treatment, type of implants used, and the dental prosthetic attached to them.
If you have dental insurance, you may be offered partial coverage. You may also be able to use an allowance for the cost of a bridge or dentures towards your dental implants. If you have dental insurance, you should call your insurance company to determine their payment limitations concerning dental implants.
Although the initial cost of dental implants is higher than other restoration methods, dental implants require significantly less maintenance and replacements than these other methods. Furthermore, they restore function and aesthetic appeal better than other restoration methods.
If you are interested in getting dental implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dokhanchi and Dr. Micaletti of Fox Valley Dental today! We are proud to serve Aurora, as well as the surrounding communities of Sugar Grove, North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Montgomery, Oswego, and Naperville.