Tooth Implant Procedure & Recovery Information

Dental implants are titanium implants that are placed in the jaws to support an artificial tooth, dental bridge or a denture. They are basically titanium posts inserted in the jaw to replicate the natural root of the tooth. The invention of dental implants and the subsequent popularity of dental implants have totally revolutionized the art and science of dentistry.

Our ancestors had to resort to ingenious measures to replace a lost tooth, because the loss of teeth and the associated discomfort brought on by pain and inability to chew food can put the health of a person at serious risk. They have tried everything from pushing iron pieces, sea shells and even tooth harvested from a dead person, into the empty socket. Ouch!! Even today, scientific studies have revealed that complete loss of teeth, especially at an old age can gravely affect the health of a person and shorten the life span dramatically.

Today teeth are not just related to nutrition alone. A beautiful set of teeth is a sign of vitality and youth and their loss can lead to humiliation and embarrassment. Many techniques for replacement of lost teeth have been developed by implant dentist Chicago. Removable dentures offer an affordable option but patients have a tough time adjusting to them. And the absence of proper bone stimulation can cause resorption (shrinkage) even with the best dentures. Dental bridges are the most popular option even now for replacing a few lost teeth.  However, placing a bridge requires the grinding of natural teeth on both sides of the bridge. Also they cannot be used when adequate support is unavailable like when the entire posterior section of the teeth is absent or when the gums are weak. The cost of implants is still a prohibiting factor that has prevented implants from becoming extremely common.

Dental implants have achieved considerable popularity over the past 2-3 decades. This is due to fact that dental implants have become cheaper and more dentists are practicing Dental Implantology since Chicago dental implants were first used in the 1960's. During the 1950's Prof Per-Ingvar Brånemark (considered the father of dental implantology), a Swedish Orthopedic surgeon made the serendipitous discovery of a phenomenon called Osseo-integration while studying bone healing in rabbits. Osseo-integration is the biological fusion of bone with a foreign object. He discovered that titanium chambers placed in a rabbit's femur could not be removed after some time because the bone had fused to the titanium. This discovery was further advanced by other dental researchers and hence dental implantology was born.

Dental implants are placed directly in the jaw bone and the artificial tooth/crown is placed on the implant. Hence no surrounding natural teeth need be ground away unnecessarily. If the patient is healthy, with no contraindicating systemic conditions and has sufficient jaw bone to place an implant, then he/she can easily receive an implant. No irreversible damage is done to adjacent teeth in this way. All the patient needs to do is maintain a high level of oral hygiene and the implant should give a lifetime of good service. In fact chewing on an implant is the closest sensation you can get to actually chewing on natural teeth which means no more fear of lose dentures or endangering natural teeth.

The lives of millions of people have been transformed with dental implants. Can you go to the Chicago dentists today and demand one? Wait! There are few conditions where the dental implant procedure cannot be done. Certain dental conditions can influence the dentist's decision. The jaws should have sufficient bone width and height to support an implant. The gums should be healthy and the procedure is contraindicated in severe gums disease (periodontitis/gingivitis). Patients may have to undergo treatment for the gums before the procedure. Patients with severe teeth clenching (bruxism) may have to undergo corrective therapy or wear a night guard to protect the teeth. Lack of proper access to the area of the surgery may also be a contraindication. Medical conditions like pregnancy, severe dermatological diseases and malignancy can be an absolute contraindication. Some relative contraindications include smoking, diabetes, hemophilia and bleeding disorders, epilepsy, impaired movement, etc.  It is up to your dentist or Implantologist to decide which of these will be detrimental to the prognosis of your implant. Patients below the age of 18 are not considered as candidates for an implant surgery.

Once your dentist has done a thorough oral exam with a detailed case history, he or she will order a couple of X-rays and probably CT scans, depending on the case. Then the dentist will arrive at a treatment plan by discussing the pros and cons of each implant system with you and will arrive at a decision based on your requirements and financial condition.The most common implant used today is the Endosteal implants or Root-form implants. As the name suggests this implant is shaped like the root of a natural root. Other
types include Intra-mucosal, Plate-form, Subperiosteal, Transosteal etc. The most common methods for placing implants after extracting a tooth includes immediate post-extraction implant placement, delayed immediate post-extraction implant and late implantation.

Bar-type implants are placed to stabilize a denture with the denture being clipped onto the top portion of the implant. Such dentures are more stable and hence more acceptable than conventional dentures. They are the most cost effective option for patients with complete loss of teeth than having multiple implant surgeries to fix
many implants.The basic procedure in a nut-shell includes drilling a hole in the jaw and screwing in the implant. The implant is left to heal. It is later reopened and the portion of the implant above the gums is fitted. The crown is later fixed onto this part of the implant. Some tenderness and pain can be expected. Chicago dentist normally prescribe pain killers and antibiotics for a few days to reduce discomfort.