Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or even as an alternative to dentures when most or all your teeth have been lost or removed. Properly done, a dental implant will look and feel just like your natural tooth, and it is often the best way to replace a missing tooth while leaving the surrounding teeth intact. Removable appliances (such as dentures or flippers) can be uncomfortable and need to be replaced periodically. With proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Dr. LaVacca is a board-certified prosthodontist and a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Beyond his degree in general dentistry, he has pursued three additional years of specialized training and been certified in the replacement of missing teeth. He has presented nationally and internationally on dental implant related topics, and has been recognized by his peers as a leader in the field.
You would be hard-pressed to find a Naperville dentist who is more knowledgeable about dental implants. Dr. LaVacca can guide you with knowledge, expertise and compassion through the process of restoration, helping you regain not only your beautiful smile, but your quality of life in the simple act of eating comfortably again.
In fact, Dr. LaVacca has a separate website dedicated to dental implants information. Click here to visit his dental implants website.
Brief Description of the Dental Implant Procedure
Most commonly, a dental implant involves the surgical placement of a root form, which is implanted in the bone of your jaw, and then the placement of the crown over the root form. This picture (left) illustrates the position of the root form and crown - in an actual case the root form is completely hidden. When the root form is implanted into your bone, it is called an "endosteal" (inside the bone) implant.
Dr. LaVacca also performs bone grafting. Bone grafting is used to replace missing bone, or add to existing bone to create a stable place to anchor an implant. This is often necessary when periodontal disease or missing teeth have damaged the jaw bone or otherwise left it too deteriorated to support an implant or dentures.
All-On-Four Dental Implants
If you do not have enough bone left in your jaw to support the root form, Dr. LaVacca can offer you several options in addition to bone grafting. He is trained in the All-On-Four technique, which uses implants to provide a way to "anchor" complete dentures when too little of the jaw bone is left to support the denture on its own. Click on this link to learn more about the All-On-Four procedure.
Teeth In an Hour
A disadvantage of dental implants has always been the length of time it takes to heal - sometimes it can be many weeks or even months before the final crown can be placed on the implant root form. In an exciting new development, for some specific cases your implant form surgery and crown placement can now be accomplished in the same visit! This patented technique is Teeth In an Hour. A visit with Dr. LaVacca is the only way to know if this technique would be appropriate for you. Call today, or use our convenient Make an Appointment online form.
How might Dr. LaVacca decide that a dental implant is the best treatment option?
- If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth (or is in the back of your mouth), Dr. LaVacca may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice. While bridges can be used to replace missing teeth, they do require structurally sound teeth to anchor to immediately adjacent to the missing tooth site.
- If you are missing only one or two teeth, and the teeth next to the missing teeth are normal and healthy, implants can help you avoid having a bridge placed on normal, healthy teeth.
- If all of your teeth are missing, dental implants can help you avoid bone loss in your jaws that can lead to facial collapse. Over time, the bone in your jaws is reabsorbed at the site of the missing tooth or teeth. Implants halt this process.
Ultimately, a skilled dentist with specialized training must determine the best treatment option for a missing tooth or teeth. Dr. LaVacca is one of the best dentists in Naperville to assess your dental implant treatment options.