Chicago Area Tooth Replacement Choices
Even though you may think oral health and the overall health of your body isn’t related, quite the opposite is true! Replacing missing teeth is essential for eating properly and, no small matter in itself, your sense of self-esteem. Missing teeth affect the mouth’s natural bite, clarity of speech and the kinds of foods you are able to eat. When essential tooth replacement procedures are ignored, the reliance placed on the teeth that remain increases the likelihood that they’ll be weakened, be worn down or suffer damage. All this can result in more tooth loss.
More than this, without replacing missing teeth and ignoring the need for tooth replacement, your jaws and mouth area are forced to work harder, resulting in frequent headaches or painful jaws. If you’re wondering what type of tooth replacement you need to restore your health and improve your quality of life, Dr. Spiro Karras and Dr. Anastasia Haupt, who specialize in reconstructive dental surgery at the Advanced Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in the Chicago area, offer this overview of the most commonly sought after tooth replacement options.
The Basics That Influence Tooth Replacement Choices
No one wants their health and looks to worsen. Many people don’t understand what happens to the structures of the mouth when tooth replacement isn’t addressed. But, the fact is, as teeth are lost, the bones of the jaws begin to melt away. As much as one quarter of the jaw’s bone will be lost during the first year following the loss of teeth. So the sooner you take action in replacing missing teeth the better.
Dental implants have been the gold standard of tooth replacement for decades now, excelling over standard dentures as a superior option for replacing teeth. The sooner dental implants are in place after tooth loss the better, since bone loss is progressive. However, dental implants can remain a top option for replacing missing teeth even if bone loss has been going on for a while.
What makes dental implants so much better than conventional dentures? Implants perform every bit as well as your natural teeth did before they became diseased and loose. Dental implants protect and maintain the jaw’s bone, your oral health and your looks.
When considering which implant choices might be right for you in replacing missing teeth, it’s important to be as informed as possible. That’s why experienced, dedicated oral surgeons like Dr. Karras do thorough patient consultations prior to any tooth replacement procedure. Let’s take a look at the most common implant choices right now, so you can have your questions ready when you sit down for your consult.
A Closer Look At Tooth Replacement Options
Today, more than ever, the selection of choices in tooth replacement has become varied and customizable to suit practically every patient’s need. Good candidates can be people who have one, several or all teeth missing. Someone who is dissatisfied as a conventional denture wearer is also a good candidate.
How old a patient is doesn’t matter. But those who smoke, have conditions like diabetes, or have undergone radiation therapy to the oral area, will need extra evaluation before a final decision is made between you and Dr. Karras.
Regardless of your overall dental health, dental X-rays of the jaws are required in the evaluation in order to determine if the jaw bone can lodge implants. Other X-rays might be done, as well, in order to learn if additional testing or methods will be used in placing your implants accurately.
To understand how dental implants compare to conventional tooth replacement procedures, let’s explore the differences.
The Most Common Tooth Replacement Options
Fixed Bridges. Fixed bridges are linked sets of replacement teeth. Supporting fixed bridges requires them to be cemented in place atop the teeth that are on either side of the empty tooth sockets. In order to fix a dental bridge in place, the enamel of the teeth that will be anchoring the bridge needs to be partially ground down.
Metal Partials. Metal partials are partial dentures, usually comprised of several artificial teeth, that can be removed by the wearer for maintenance and cleaning. These partials are generally kept secure in the mouth by wire clips that secure the partial to the person’s existing adjacent teeth.
Dentures. Prior to the advancements of dental implant technology, full sets of dentures were the most frequently sought solution when people needed all their teeth replaced. In many cases, this meant both upper and lower dentures. While traditional dentures can be tolerated by most wearers, very few find them ideal. In many cases, the wearer finds them uncomfortable or outright painful. This usually because the gum line and the jaw change over time with the bone loss that accompanies the absence of teeth.
Flippers. “Flippers” are designed to be used temporarily while the patient awaits permanent tooth replacement. These are plastic teeth that are set into retainers, and are used as a stop-gap until the more permanent solution for replacing patients’ missing teeth is ready to be put in place.
Dental Implants. For many decades now, dental implants have been the most comfortable and permanent solution in tooth replacement. Implants not only offer far more natural-like tooth function and appearance, they create a strong underpinning for the replacement teeth and help jaws retain bone mass. Overall, dental implants do the best job of all tooth replacement options in helping the basic mouth structures stay healthy and strong.
Implants can be used in replacing missing teeth regardless of how many; whether a single tooth, several or all. They can also be used in securing specialized dentures. Whereas conventional bridges require that healthy teeth be ground down to either side of the missing teeth, the use of implants prevents any need to damage teeth that remain in good health.
Implants are also the most permanent of the tooth replacement options. Cared for properly, dental implants can realistically last for the patient’s life. They are consistently proven to be superior in stability, comfort, and attractiveness.
Why People Choose Dental Implants For Replacing Missing Teeth
The natural look, feel, and stability of dental implants are unsurpassed in modern dentistry. Whether a patient needs single tooth replacement, several or all replaced, dental implants are a versatile and healthier solution.
In cases where tooth replacement would have once been fixed with a dental bridge, dental implants can provide a sounder result that doesn’t call for damaging the adjacent teeth that are perfectly healthy. Dental implants also help the jaws retain bone.
Dental implants don’t require adhesives to keep them in place, nor do they need to be removed for cleaning or maintenance. You clean and maintain them just as you do your natural teeth. Implants don’t slip out of place as dentures often do during eating or conversations. And a boost in self-esteem is widely reported by those who choose dental implants for their tooth replacement needs.
Where To Contact Dr. Spiro Karras
Dr. Spiro Karras specializes in reconstructive dental surgery at the Advanced Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in the Chicago area. Since 1994, his advanced training and extensive professional experience have allowed him to provide the highest level of care for his patients.
Call the Advanced Center For Oral Surgery And Dental Implants at (847) 677-6647 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Karras, or use our Contact Page.