Dental Implants Provide Superior Support for Missing Teeth
If you have missing teeth, dental implants offer a superior tooth replacement option. These small posts are surgically implanted in the jaw to simulate lost tooth roots, which are then restored with a denture, crown, or bridge. Implant-supported restorations are unmatched in comfort and stability, allowing you to eat, speak, and laugh with total confidence. Dr. Art Carpenter in Kenilworth, IL, has undergone extensive continuing education to provide dental implants and prides himself on the quality of care our team offers to our restorative dentistry patients.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Dental implant candidates should be non-smokers in good general and oral health. Candidates must also have sufficient jawbone mass to support the implants, which need to withstand powerful biting and chewing forces. If jawbone density is lacking, Dr. Carpenter may perform a bone graft to augment the jaw and create a more solid base. If you do not have enough room for dental implants because of bone loss or sinus expansion, you may require a sinus lift.
The Dental Implants Process
During your consultation, Dr. Carpenter will engage you in a discussion about your medical history and goals for treatment. He will also evaluate the health and density of your jawbone to determine if you have sufficient tissue to support implants. If dental implants seem suitable, he can begin creating a customized treatment plan.
Your Placement Procedure and Recovery
After you are comfortably sedated, Dr. Carpenter surgically implants the small titanium posts within the jawbone. The procedure may take a couple hours or more to complete, depending on the number of implants placed. Dental implant surgery is an out-patient procedure, so you will need to have another adult drive you home.
Healing takes place over the next several months, as the posts fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. In the weeks following your implant placement, you may experience some minor swelling and pain. For the first few days you should brush your teeth and gums gently. You may need to maintain a soft-foods diet for several weeks or months to avoid disturbing the implants.
Once your implants are stabilized, you will return to our office so Dr. Carpenter can access your implant and fit it with an abutment, or extension of the implant post. These connector pieces will securely hold your implant in place. After your gums heal tightly around the base of the abutment, which typically takes another two weeks, you will return for your final appointment. At this time, Dr. Carpenter can place your high-quality zirconia crown, bridge, or denture.
Dental Implant Benefits
Most patients find that the unparalleled benefits of dental implants significantly enhance their quality of life. Once your implants are fully stabilized and restored, you can enjoy benefits such as:
- A dental prosthetic that will never slip or shift out of place.
- An oral hygiene routine as simple as caring for your natural teeth—through regular brushing and flossing.
- Jawbone mass retention, as the dental implants stimulate the jaw in the same way your natural tooth roots would. This stimulation signals the body to continue sending nutrients to the jawbone. When these signals are absent, the jawbone begins to atrophy, leading to destabilization of the remaining teeth and a sunken facial appearance.
- Realistic-looking, natural-feeling, and long-lasting implant-supported dental restorations, superior to any other tooth replacement option currently available.
In addition, dental implants can help save you from future expenses. Because of the superior support provided in comparison to traditional crowns, bridges, and dentures, your implant-supported restoration can wear more evenly and last longer. In addition, the preserved shape of your jaw will prevent the need to have dentures relined or replaced to accommodate a changing jaw shape.
Maintaining Your Implants
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. In fact, according to the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness (IDIA), implants have a long-term success rate of over 95 percent. For the most part, you can care for your implant-supported restoration just like you would your natural teeth. However, making a few adjustments to your daily hygiene routine can ensure your implants last as long as possible.
Your Hygiene Routine
Just like natural teeth, it is important to keep implants clean and free of plaque. You should brush your restored teeth gently, taking special care to clean all sides of your implant. We recommend using a soft manual or electric toothbrush and a low abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste. Dr. Carpenter may also recommend:
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Interdental brushes
- Disclosing tablets to reveal plaque accumulation
- Implant floss
- Tufted brushes
If you are having difficulties keeping your implant clean, we can also offer suggestions for different tools or techniques during your appointment.
Visits to Our Office
We recommend all patients visit our office at least twice a year for exams and cleanings. However, this visit is especially important for patients with dental implants. Our team has special tools which can clean your implant, abutment, and restoration without damaging them. For patients with certain risk factors, such as gum disease, we may suggest more frequent visits.
Studies have shown that implants can last for 40 to 50 years or more when cared for properly.
Dr. Carpenter can also assess the health of your implant during this appointment. He can identify any potential threats to the stability of your restoration and offer treatment to restore proper health. At least once a year, we will also take x-rays of your implants to ensure it is healthy and stable.
The Importance of Implant Maintenance
Studies have shown that implants can last for 40 to 50 years or more when cared for properly. However, without consistent daily care, serious issues can develop. Peri-implantitis is a severe condition which can cause irreversible bone loss. This type of infection develops around implant posts and can eventually cause implant failure.
Signs of Implant Issues
If you develop bleeding around your dental implant, you should make an appointment with Dr. Carpenter right away. Similar to gum disease, bleeding signals an infection in the gum tissue around your implant. This condition is known as peri-implant mucositis and can quickly advance to peri-implantitis if left untreated.
Other symptoms of implant issues include:
- Gum recession
Treating mucositis early is the best way to prevent implant failure. Often, the solution is as simple as improved home care.
Risk Factors for Peri-Implantitis
Another way to avoid developing health problems with your implants is to avoid the common risk factors of peri-implantitis. These include:
- Periodontal disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Bruxism, also known as teeth clenching and grinding
We provide treatment for periodontal disease and bruxism at our office. We can also help you with your oral hygiene. Often, choosing the right dentist to place your implant can make a huge impact on your risk for developing implant complications.
Choosing Your Provider
For the best implant dentistry results, you should seek treatment from an experienced provider at a highly rated dental practice. Dr. Carpenter is a fellow of the California Implant Institute and has received extensive training in computer-aided implant surgery using advanced digital imaging. He has successfully treated many patients with dental implants and is committed to developing individualized treatment plans to ensure optimal patient outcomes.
Thanks to Dr. Carpenter’s expertise in implant dentistry, he can perform every facet of the procedure in our office, with no need to refer patients to another specialist.
Many providers do not have the advanced training needed to place dental implants. Instead, they must refer their patients to another specialist. This can increase a patient’s treatment timeline as well as their costs. Thanks to Dr. Carpenter’s expertise in implant dentistry, he can perform every facet of the procedure in our office, with no need to refer patients to another specialist. He is also capable of performing any necessary prerequisite procedures, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, in our office as well. As a result, our patients enjoy shorter treatment timelines with fewer complications and exceptional results.
Determining the Cost of Implants
The cost of dental implants is often a major deciding factor for patients. Implant-supported restorations are more expensive than traditional options, and dental insurance plans do not always cover the cost in full. Treatment costs vary significantly from patient to patient, because each individual has unique needs. Several different factors will come into play when determining your estimated treatment costs, including:
- Number of implants placed
- Type of restoration
- Prerequisite procedures
- Your choice of surgeon
- Any sedation required
Our team can provide a personalized cost estimate after at thorough examination at our office.
Financing Your Treatment
Dr. Carpenter understands that cost is often a major barrier for patients needing and wanting dental implants. Our team will work with your insurance company to help you get the most out of your plan. For any expenses not covered by your insurance, we accept CareCredit® financing. This trusted third-party lender offers patients an affordable way to get much-needed dental procedures and pay the balance off over a specified period of time, sometimes with no interest.
Schedule Your Implant Consultation
If you are ready to transform your life with quality, long-lasting dental restorations, contact our office online or call (847) 251-5004 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Carpenter will evaluate your candidacy and explain the many ways you can benefit from dental implants.
We have been coming to Dr. Carpenter for several years now after seeing dentists that lacked good patient relationships. Dr. Carpenter is patient with those who fear going to the dentist (that's me), explains what needs to be done and provides different options for treatment. Worth the trek from the city!Kelly B.