Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants

model with toothbrushDental implants are a valuable, effective teeth replacement system that grants patients many long-lasting benefits. They are unique from other teeth replacement options because they replace the tooth root with an implant root. After the dentist inserts the implant root into the jawbone, the bone cells grow around the implant and support it. This stability grants the implant foundational support to hold up a crown, dentures, or a fixed bridge. Dental implants become a part of the patient and grant the patient confidence in their ability to eat, speak, and smile as they had with their natural teeth. Dr. Thanasi Loukas and Dr. Maria Loukas at Park Ridge have undergone significant hands-on training in a range of dental services including the placing and restoring of dental implants. The doctors answer your questions and concerns about dental implants.

  • Do dental implants hurt?

Dr. Loukas will give you local or general anesthesia before the procedure, so your mouth will be numb while the implant root is surgically inserted into your jawbone. After the surgery, you may experience swelling of the gums and face, bruising of your skin and face, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding, and you may take an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Motrin. If your discomfort worsens in the days following the surgery, call the Drs. Loukas; they may need to prescribe antibiotics or a pain medication.

  • Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?

Dr. Loukas will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone to ensure that implants are right for you, but most people who’ve lost teeth are excellent  candidates for dental implants. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They must also understand the importance of good dental hygiene habits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease — or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck will be considered on an individual basis.

  • How long does it take to get an implant?

Because the jawbone needs time to adhere to the implant root and grow around it, a process known as osseointegration, the entire process may last several months. However, once the bone has completed osseointegration and has fully fused to the implant, the patient can rest assured that their implant will be strong enough to withstand normal chewing and biting.

  • What are the after-care instructions?

Eat soft foods for ten days after the surgery, and maintain good dental habits of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily. It is especially vital to floss around the implant daily.

  • What is the success rate of dental implants?

According to the Academy of Osseointegration, dental implants boast a success rate of well over 90%. With proper care including brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, they can last up to 25 years as opposed to dental bridges which may need replacement or adjustment every 10-15 years.

About Your Doctors

Dr. Maria Loukas and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly experienced restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentists serving Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule a consultation, call (847) 696-1919.

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