If you are missing teeth due to the natural process of aging or any number of other reasons, then you may wish to consider dental implants as a permanent solution for the replacement of missing teeth.

Dental implants use state-of-the-art technology to replace missing teeth with an artificial “root” and tooth. For people who have otherwise strong teeth, having a tooth implant is an excellent alternative to having a bridge done.

Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Someone who has lost teeth can regain the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence — bite into that apple and chew steak, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.

Dental implants, or tooth implants, represent one of the most important advances in modern dentistry. They offer patients with missing or severely damaged teeth an opportunity to restore their fully functional bite. The most difficult aspect of tooth loss or extreme tooth damage is that it can significantly change the function of the mouth as well as the overall appearance of the facial structures. Even the loss of a few teeth can cause substantial sagging and give the appearance of advanced age.

Dental Implant Procedure

The placement of a dental implant involves a series of steps. It starts with an initial consultation. During this exam, x-rays will be taken and often oftentimes impressions of the teeth and gums will be necessary. Dr. Block will evaluate each case individually as it is necessary to ensure that a patient is a suitable candidate for the implant procedure.

This means examining the mouth and x-rays to evaluate the condition of the underlying bone structure and other teeth. The actual implant procedure begins with the preparation of the bone site for placement of the implant. The implant is a metal fixture, usually titanium, which acts as an anchor placed into the jawbone.

This implant will serve as a substitute “root” for the artificial tooth which will later be placed. Once in place, the implant will require three to four months to fully heal. This gives the surrounding bone the necessary time to form a strong bond with the implant material. Dr. Block will manage all aspects of the implant process and will work closely with the laboratory that will create the crown or “artificial tooth” which will be attached to the implant.

Dental Implants Chicago Cosmetic Dentist

Final Stages of a Dental Implant

Patients are generally fitted with a temporary crown over the implant during the initial waiting period. This temporary crown will facilitate eating, chewing and smiling during the healing process. Impressions of the teeth and gums are used to create the permanent crown or artificial tooth which is fitted to the dental implant once it has healed. The entire procedure can take from four months to one year to complete. It is possible to do a single tooth or several teeth depending on the needs of the patient. The success rate for dental implants is very high and many patients are finding it the best option for permanent tooth replacement.

Caring for Your Implant

Bacteria and plaque builds can up around your implanted tooth, just as it does with natural teeth. It is important to keep up with good daily hygiene habits to avoid the complication. Properly cared for, implants can last 25 years or longer.

Scheduling Your Exam

Call our Gold Coast office to make an appointment with Dr. Block. At your initial visit, she will order x-rays and do a thorough examination of your mouth. She will evaluate the condition of your gums, jawbone, and existing teeth and then devise a treatment plan that is best for you.

About Dr. Nancy Block

Dr. Nancy Block is a licensed provider of General and Preventative Dentistry as well as Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry and accepts most major dental insurance plans in Illinois.

Dr. Block treats patients in the Chicago Metro area including the neighborhoods of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, The Loop, Magnificent Mile, Old Town, River North, Streeterville, The West Loop and the Gold Coast.