If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants are a permanent, natural-looking solution that will restore your smile. When properly built and placed by Dr. Paul Fischl or Dr. Marie Bradley Fischl, a dental implant will last the rest of your life. Dental implants prevent the negative side effects of missing teeth, such as the loss of gum and jaw tissue, and shifting teeth that change your bite
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants consist of a small, rod or screw-shaped piece of titanium or zirconium, which is surgically implanted directly into the gum area where the root of your missing tooth used to be. While it heals, this implant will bond with the surrounding tissue, through a process called osseointegration. After the dental implant heals, it functions as an artificial root, to which a number of different restorations, such as dental crowns, bridges, and even dentures can be attached.
Understanding The Different Types Of Dental Implants
Wondering what different types of dental implants are used to restore teeth? Here is a quick overview of the three most common types of dental implants.
- Single-Tooth Implants – Single-tooth implants can be used to replace one missing tooth. This implant option consists of two parts. First, a small, screw-shaped piece of titanium (the implant itself) is surgically placed into your gum and jaw. Then, the implant heals and becomes an artificial “root,” which can be used to support the second part of the implant: a dental restoration (typically a dental crown).
- “Mini” Implants – “Mini” implants are only about half the size of traditional single-tooth implants, but they function in the same way. They are placed directly into the gums and jaw bone, but because they are smaller, they can be used even in cases where a patient has lost jaw bone due to tooth loss.
- Full-Arch Implants – This treatment involves a series of 4-6 dental implants, and they are used to restore one or both arches if a patient is missing multiple or most of their teeth.
Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
Dental implants may be right for you if you are willing to spend a bit more up-front for a long-lasting dental restoration. Implants are usually more expensive than alternatives like dental bridges or partial dentures, and are typically not covered by insurance. However, they offer a better long-term value, as they tend to last 30+ years with proper care.
You must also be patient and willing to wait for your results in order to have dental implants. The process of having an implant built and placed can take 3-6 months or even longer if additional preparatory treatments like alveoloplasty or tooth extraction are required before your treatment can begin.
Finally, your mouth must be relatively healthy to have dental implants. You cannot have gum disease or decayed teeth, and your jaw bone must be strong, and unaffected by bone loss. In some cases, a weakened jaw is not a deal-breaker, as treatments like bone grafting and sinus lifts may be used to strengthen the treatment area before the implant is placed.
If you meet these qualifications, dental implants are definitely right for you. Contact the team at Fischl Dental Associates to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Fischl or Dr. Marie Bradley Fischl right away.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have a number of benefits which make them ideal for restoring one or more missing teeth.
- Natural look and feel – Dental implants and implant-supported restorations look and feel completely natural. Your crown or other restoration will be made of high-quality porcelain, and it will not shift or move in your mouth.
- The best long-term investment – Dental implants are costly up front, but they are an economical choice in the long run because they won’t need to be replaced throughout the years.
- No special care required once the implant has been placed – Just brush and floss your teeth normally, and come in for regular, 6-month oral exams and teeth cleanings.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant placement process is quite simple. First, one of our dentists will perform an initial consultation to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for an implant. If an implant is the right choice for you, our experts will develop a treatment plan based on x-rays and advanced dental imaging techniques. Your mouth will be cleaned and numbed, and your implant will be placed in your gum line.
Over the next 3-6 months, the dental implant will integrate with your natural jaw and gum tissue. Once your dental implant has healed, one of our doctors will complete the restoration. If you are missing only a single tooth, a dental crown will be manufactured to match the rest of your teeth, and function as an artificial tooth.
However, dental bridges can also be supported by two dental implants, to restore more than one missing tooth. If you are missing an entire upper or lower arch of teeth, permanent implant dentures, supported by 4-6 dental implants, could be the right option for you.
Dental Implant Aftercare & Recovery
It doesn’t take long to recover from your dental implant surgery. Immediately after your treatment, your mouth may be sore and it may bleed a bit for a few hours. Minor, intermittent bleeding for the next day or two is normal.
For about 3 days after your appointment, you will notice mild discomfort, swelling and bruising. If Dr. Paul Fischl or Dr. Marie Bradley Fischl has provided you with a prescription for painkillers, fill it and take them as directed. Otherwise, you can take medication like Motrin or Tylenol to help with pain. Icing the area for 10 minutes at a time may also help with swelling and discomfort.
You should eat a diet of mostly soft foods for the first 3 days after your appointment to minimize discomfort, and prevent damage to your implant. Keep brushing and flossing normally, but be very gentle around the implant site.
After between 3-7 days, most of your symptoms like sore throat, stiff jaw muscles and bruising will become less severe. Most patients are able to resume a normal diet within a week.
After about 1-2 weeks, your mouth will be mostly healed. You can brush and floss normally, and resume your normal diet. You may need to come back to our office for a check-up and digital x-rays to check your healing progress, and to have your sutures removed.
Understanding The Dental Implant Healing Process
The initial 1-2 week recovery period is only the beginning of the dental implant healing process. After your initial healing is complete, your implant will undergo the process of “osseointegration.”
This means that the bone tissue around your implant will start to heal and bond with the implant permanently, locking it in place and creating an artificial “root” onto which your implant-supported restoration can be attached.
This process takes between 3-6 months, for most patients. As you continue to heal and recover, you will need to come into Fischl Dental Associates for regular appointments, so that Dr. Paul Fischl or Dr. Marie Bradley Fischl can track your progress, and ensure your mouth is healing properly. s
Common Concerns Of Patients Receiving Dental Implants
If you’re considering dental implants to replace one or multiple missing teeth, you may have some questions about the treatment process. Here are a few of the most common concerns we hear from patients considering implants at Fischl Dental Associates:
- Is the process invasive? Yes, to an extent. Placing an implant does involve oral surgery. However, we offer numbing agents and sedation to keep you comfortable, and the initial healing process typically only takes about a week.
- Is implant surgery always successful? About 98% of implant surgeries have no complications.
- Is it easy to care for my implants? Yes! Just brush and floss normally and come in for routine preventive care every six months.
- Will my dental implant ever need to be replaced? As long as you clean your mouth properly, you can expect it to last 30+ years. Most patients keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
Schedule Your Consultation for Implants Today!
If you have any questions about dental implants, or you’d like to schedule a dental implant consultation, contact the Fischl Dental Associates team at (847) 448-1684, or stop by our office at 636 Church Street, Suite 200 W, Evanston, IL 60201.