Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Barrington dental technologyBarrington Dentist Offers Advice

If you are missing one or more of your teeth, you are not alone. About 70% of American adults are missing at least one tooth, and many of them suffer physiological and aesthetic detriments.

When a tooth is lost, there is a gradual deterioration of alveolar bone and a decrease of gum tissue. After alveolar bone is lost, the adjacent jawbone begins to disintegrate. The teeth surrounding the missing tooth will spread and gap. Facial shape is affected as bone loss continues. Losing more than one tooth compounds the issue, leading to problems with chewing, enunciation, and a loss of self-confidence as facial changes become more pronounced.

In the past, replacing a missing tooth usually involved a three-unit, fixed partial denture, or a fixed bridge. In this procedure, the teeth on either side of the gap are fitted with crowns, which support a false tooth in the middle. As this procedure is relatively easy to implement, it has been the industry standard for decades. However, there are drawbacks, such as bacterial buildup, and the risk of decay and weakening of the supporting teeth. Also, fixed partial dentures do not address the problem of bone loss.

Dental implants arrest bone loss because they are integrated into the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. Put simply, the implant fixture, made from titanium, acts as a root that bonds with the bone. After allowing time for the implant fixture to fuse with the bone, the replacement tooth is affixed. Once the procedure is complete, the replacement tooth performs as a natural tooth would, stimulating the nerves, gum tissue, muscles and jaw, working in concert with the rest of your teeth.

While dental implants show a high rate of success, there are individual factors that must be considered. The overall health of the patient, the condition of oral tissue and bone, and the position of the surrounding teeth must be analyzed. Patients who are heavy smokers, or are diabetic, or have used steroids long-term have greater risks. A Periodontal Risk Assessment and thorough dental exam is the first step for all patients.

Gregory S. Tehle, DDS, provides dental implant consultation using state-of-the-art technologies for thorough tissue examination. Dr. Tehle’s 35 years of experience, along with his compassionate approach to restorative dentistry, make him the preferred choice for dental implant procedures in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

Contact Dr. Tehle for an appointment today! Dr. Tehle provides world-class dentistry services to patients in Barrington, South Barrington, Barrington Hills, Arlington Heights, Palatine and the surrounding area.

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