Do you have missing teeth within your smile? Have you undergone a recent extraction procedure, extensive gum disease treatment, or suffered a dental injury resulting in tooth loss? If so, prolonged gaps throughout the smile should be replaced to protect your oral and overall health.
At the office of Peter Cabrera, DDS, we offer a reliable resolution to your tooth loss with dental implants. Don’t let a compromised smile get in the way of your comfort, confidence, and happiness; look no further than our Chicago periodontist for a permanent solution to all your tooth replacement needs. Contact our Cook County team today to schedule your dental implant consultation!
CALL US: (312) 944-7939 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
What Are Dental Implants?
A natural, healthy tooth consists of a root and a crown. When teeth are missing from the smile, dental implants replace the entire structure. The implants are titanium posts that serve as artificial tooth roots which are accepted by the body and fuse with living tissue and bone in a process called osseointegration.
Dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone, in the places where missing teeth once were.
Dental Implant the Anatomy 101
Although technically, dental implants are the posts inserted into the jawbone, serving as life-long replacements for missing tooth roots, there are multiple components needed to replace a tooth entirely.
The Post – is a titanium post, serving as the new root for your new teeth or tooth. In addition to many advantages, one important one is the medical-grade titanium won’t corrode, along with its ability to fuse permanently with bone and tissue. Most modern implants only require four posts to restore an entire arch of missing teeth.
The Abutment – is what holds the implant post and the permanent restoration (tooth or teeth) together. This tiny fixture reinforces the connection between your post and prosthetic, making the restoration of your artificial tooth a simple process.
The Final Restoration – can either be a crown, bridge, full denture or partial and is the visual appliance that restores the teeth. They’re usually made of porcelain and are fully customizable.
Why Would I Need a Dental Implant?
The primary reason why an individual would need dental implants is to replace a missing tooth or teeth. However, there are numerous reasons why teeth are lost, fall out, or need to be removed.
The most common include:
Why Should I Choose Dental Implants to Restore My Smile?
Because of their ability to fuse to bone and tissue during the osseointegration process, dental implants provide the essential stimulation a jaw bone needs to remain strong and healthy.
Additional advantages of dental implants include everything from your oral health, speech, chewing, digestion, and facial features which are significantly improved, protected, and preserved. This not only enhances self-confidence, but the overall quality of life is restored.
With a success rate of over 95%, dental implants are reliable and versatile as they can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or up to an entire arch of missing teeth.
Why Choosing a Periodontist for Dental Implant Treatment Matters
Many are unaware of what makes a periodontist different compared to a general dentist, especially when it comes to placing dental implants.
A periodontist is a dental specialist and one that has received an additional three years of training after dental school, focusing on the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. As a periodontist, this additional education gives Dr. Cabrera an in-depth knowledge of intricate surgical procedures, like implant placement, and how to perform them skillfully and successfully.
When replacing one or more teeth, you want your dental implants to be placed correctly, encouraging them to look natural and blend seamlessly in with the rest of your smile.
Since 1981, Dr. Peter Cabrera has helped smiles achieve ideal oral health and natural aesthetics throughout the Chicago communities with the specialized placement of dental implants.
Choosing the right specialist ensures that your implants are placed accurately and effectively, with your full health, function, and long-term quality of life in mind.
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
The time it takes to complete your treatment depends on many factors. On average, placement in the lower jaw tends to take about five months on average, while treatment time for the upper jaw is about seven months.
The actual time frame for complete dental implant treatment can be anywhere from six months to over a year. This includes detailed consultations, planning, possible initial treatment with bone grafting, and implant placement surgeries.
Getting dental implants is a multi-step process. Below are the main phases you can expect to occur when visiting our periodontal office for dental implant treatment.
The Placement Procedure
CT scanning technology helps Dr. Cabrera precisely place implants in the jawbone, and special tools measure the amount of force put on the implants during placement. These technologies promotes effective, faster healing.
Depending on the number of implants required for your unique dental health and facial structure, anything can be replaced with implants from a single tooth to an entire dental arch.
Healing and Osseointegration
After placement, osseointegration takes place. Natural bone tissue in the jaw grows around the implant post and forms a direct connection, holding the post(s) firmly in place.
This process alone takes a few to several months, and it is very important to minimize strenuous action on the implant during healing.
What Decides the Overall Cost of My Dental Implants?
The overall cost of dental implant treatment varies from patient to patient. Your specific cost depends heavily on the following factors:
- The need for extractions
- The need for preliminary services, like bone grafting or gum treatment
- Number of implants needed
- Type of implant placement
- Level of case complexity
Determining Candidacy for Dental Implant Placement
Ideal candidates for dental implant treatment must be in good oral health and should have enough jawbone volume to support implants, which will allow for proper healing.
During your detailed consultation, if it’s determined you lack proper jawbone strength due to prolonged tooth loss, there is a chance that your jawbone has weakened and shrunk to the point where implant placement might not be an ideal solution without initial procedures to help, such as a bone graft and other preliminary treatments.
Increasing Your Chances for Success Placement with Preliminary Procedures
Fortunately, as your skilled periodontist, Dr. Cabrera offers and performs ridge modifications, sinus lifts, and gum and bone grafts. These procedures help restore the placement area and rebuilds the essential strength to a jawbone once weakened by various circumstances like advanced periodontal disease, inherited deformities, or trauma.
By offering these initial treatment solutions, we can significantly increase your chances of successful dental implant treatment. Below is a more detailed explanation of each procedure.
Bone Grafting - involves restoring or regenerating bone in your jaw when there isn’t enough strength or density to support implants.
Sinus lift - Also called sinus augmentation, this procedure involves adding bone below the sinuses where the natural bone has deteriorated due to prolonged missing teeth in the upper jaw.
Ridge Modification - If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, located along the top of your jaw.
How Will I Know What to do Before and After Implant Treatment?
In addition to our team providing you with specific preparation and care instructions, we also suggest you do the following before and after your surgery:
- Prepare meals: Prep for future meals during recovery with softer foods like pasta, smoothies, and soups and freeze extra portions, if possible. For the first few days, your gums may be tender, making it challenging to chew harder foods like nuts or raw vegetables. Juicing is another great way to get all the benefits of fruits and vegetables during healing.
- Plan events accordingly: We recommend not planning or attending any important events until at least a week after your implant surgery. The first three to four days should be devoted purely to rest for proper healing.
- Fast: It’s important not to eat anything for four to twelve hours before surgery, especially if you undergo sedation.
- Make yourself comfortable: Remove any nail polish and makeup and wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to your surgery appointment.
- Make sure you have a ride: Arrange for someone to go with you and take you home, especially if you’re being sedated.
After Your Procedure
- Take it easy: It may seem tempting to get back to your normal exercise routine, but please do not strain yourself. Avoid strenuous exercise and let yourself heal at your own pace.
- Keep an eye on the treated area: Some discomfort, swelling, and bleeding are often common, especially after surgery. Continue to bite down firmly on the gauze we’ve provided, changing it after every hour or so. If symptoms seem to continue or get worse after the first 72 hours, contact us immediately.
- Nurture your body: Take vitamins or other supplements after surgery and ask us which ones we recommend you take. Your diet will be limited, so extra nutrition through soft, healthy foods and drinks are highly encouraged during recovery.
- Keep up with your oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene is essential after oral surgery as it is at any other time. After 24 hours you can resume regular brushing. We also suggest gently rinsing your mouth every so often with mild salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water). However, DO NOT use mouth wash or hydrogen peroxide rinses for at least two weeks.
- Rest, rest, and get some more rest: You should devote three days to resting and recovery. It is okay to return to school/work on the fourth day, but only if you’re feeling up to it.
Still Have Questions About Dental Implant Treatment? Ask Our Periodontist!
As your trusted team for periodontal health and dental implant placement, we understand you may still have questions or want more information. Dr. Cabrera is passionate about helping smiles through his extensive knowledge and love of educating you about your oral health and available treatment options. During consultations, we highly-encourage asking questions, voicing concerns, and sharing your goals.
Here are some of the most common questions Dr. Cabrera is asked during our detailed consultations regarding dental implants:
- What will happen without treatment?
- Is implant placement painful?
- How soon may I return to work after treatment?
- How do I care for my implants?
- Does insurance cover dental implants?
Learn How We Can Help Rebuild Your Smile Today!
The key to the long-term health, beauty, and function of your smile after tooth loss is dental implants. At Peter Cabrera, DDS Periodontics & Dental Implants, we can help you decide which implant treatment is right for you. Call us today for a complete evaluation and customized treatment plan that can provide you with a long-lasting smile once more!
CALL US: (312) 944-7939 REQUEST APPOINTMENT