Narrator: Dr. Steven Koos, chief maxillofacial surgeon at ORA Oral Surgery and Implant Studio is the premier dental implant surgeon in Chicago and will be featured in this edition of Eye on Dentistry focusing on dental implants.
Christina: Hi, I’m Christina McCauley. Welcome to Eye on Dentistry. There are approximately 100 million people in North America with one or more missing teeth. Now patients have a number of restorative options but none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as dental implants. In this episode of Eye on Dentistry, we’ll look at the potential consequences of not replacing your missing teeth, the options for restoring your smile, and we’ll talk to actual patients and doctors about their experiences with dental implants.
Dawnelle: Well, it’s very unpleasant to have a hole in your mouth. Food gets stuck in there. It’s unsanitary. It’s long term unhealthy for the rest of your teeth.
Michael: I decided to get dental implants because of the experience of wearing dentures was so painful. It’s a major disruption in the quality of your life to be living with dentures.
Christina: To understand if you might need a dental implant, it’s first important to understand your teeth in relation to your jaw and their dependency on each other to survive. Even with a great smile, missing teeth if not replaced can lead to additional dental problems. Now, your teeth can shift making it difficult to keep them clean. Over time, gum disease and bone loss can occur, shrinking the foundation for tooth support which can put you at risk of losing additional teeth.
A shrinking jaw bone ultimately changes the shape of your face. Your mouth and jaw will appear to collapse. Your lips will appear thinner and your skin will begin to wrinkle especially in the areas around your mouth and neck. Dental implants can help prevent jaw bone loss and preserve those facial contours.
Suzanne: Implants are there to keep my teeth straight and then also help preserve the bone.
Sharon: I didn’t know that I would lose the bone when I had the bridge put on and I ended up losing that bone. When I went for the implant, they had to do a bone graft first. They did the bone graft first and then I had to wait for a period of time. Whereas, if I would have gotten the implant right from the beginning, I would have had enough bone and I wouldn’t have had to go through that expense either.
Christina: In addition, missing teeth can lead to muscle strains, headaches and inability to speak clearly; unease around family, friends and co-workers and of course, the loss of your beautiful smile and self-confidence.
Michael: The experience of eating with dentures is a painful experience. You don’t have the taste of the food hitting your palate, that sensation when food and drink hits your palate.
Christina: Dental implants are artificial roots that serve as a replacement for missing teeth. They can be used in both the upper and lower jaw. After the implant has been placed, the bone forms a biological bond with the implant, giving your new crown a solid foundation as permanent as the root of a natural tooth.
Dawnelle: I defy anyone to be able to distinguish from an implant and a natural tooth.
Camille: It is, it feels like my natural tooth. There’s a little, not quite as sensitive as the other teeth are but it feels very, very natural.
Sharon: The implants are like my regular teeth. They’re strong. I can eat anything I want. The bridge, I was always concerned. I hated the bridge because I couldn’t floss. I had to do, use a special flossing technique with the bridge and it still didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like you were really getting it cleaned.
Michael: The fixed bridge solution is exactly like having natural teeth. You forget completely that you don’t have natural teeth.
Dr. Koos: What’s great about most dental implant procedures is that my patients are constantly amazed at not only how smoothly the procedure is performed with comfortable sedation but that postoperatively, there’s really minimal discomfort. That’s easily handled with just ibuprofen.
Sharon: I was really surprised. I thought it was going to be very painful and it wasn’t.
Suzanne: I didn’t even need to take the pain medicine really, just Advil, Tylenol.
Camille: Getting the implant was very, very easy for me. It ended up being very painless.
Dawnelle: I never had any discomfort at all.
Christina: The benefits impact are many. Dental implants will stop the bone deterioration process; restoring your mouth to its natural state; provide the look, feel and function of natural teeth; not compromise adjacent teeth; increase stability; eliminate the pain of dentures or partials; improve your ability to bite and chew; and maintain your appearance and self-confidence.
Michael: There’s an aspect of your youth, a carefree strength and a feeling of confidence that you have about your presentation and about your sense of being that is restored.
Christina: Prior to dental implants, a frequent option for replacing a single tooth or multiple missing teeth was the traditional tooth-supported bridge.
Sharon: If I knew then what I know now, I would have realized that bridges don’t last that long. They only last for maybe ten years, if you’re lucky. Mine lasted for six so here I am in the same position again except I have two extra teeth that are ruined from the bridge. So now I have to get three new crowns and the implants. So I wished that originally, I would have done the implant.
Christina: There are implant solutions for one, several or all missing teeth. Implants are the anchor for a new restoration that doesn’t compromise adjacent teeth. It preserves the bone by replacing the tooth root and provides stable replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
Michael: I didn’t like wearing the Polydent and the grip adhesives.
Christina: It’s a common complaint.
Dr. Koos: With complete dentures, patients frequently complain of poor fit, instability, soreness, inability to eat many types of foods and just an overall lack of confidence socially.
Christina: But with implant-supported over dentures, there is no slipping and chewing ability is restored. Over denture implants maintain the integrity of the facial structure, preserving the remaining bone and virtually stopping the deterioration process. They increase comfort, provide solid stability, restore natural chewing, feel and ability, improve facial appearance and eliminate the need for adhesives.
Sometimes, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from being good candidates for dental implants. Actually, health is more a determining factor than age. If your gums and bone are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants.
Every treatment situation presents unique conditions that can affect the longevity of a dental implant. With favorable healing and proper care, most patients can expect their dental implants to be a lifelong replacement for their lost teeth.
Every day, more and more people are discovering that dental implants are the best solution for replacing teeth and restoring smiles.
Narrator: Dr. Koos is a graduate of Northwestern University Dental School and he also obtained his medical degree from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine making him one of only a handful of dual-degreed implant surgeons in the country. In addition, Dr. Koos completed a six-year intensive surgical residency in general surgery, anesthesia, oral surgery and implantology. He has performed thousands of dental implant-related procedures and has become a leading expert in the Chicago medical and dental community.
Dr. Koos and his state of the art facility, ORA Oral Surgery and Implant Studio, the nation’s first fully green and eco-friendly dentistry® surgical practice has been featured on NBC, ABC and WGN, as well as in many magazines.
Dr. Koos’ collaborative relationship with premier restorative and cosmetic dentists throughout the Chicago land area has resulted in thousands of satisfied patients with many new reasons to smile.
Camille: Yes, I would recommend implants. As a matter of fact, I have to my family, my friends. My father is getting his second one actually next week. We’ve talked about it yesterday when I saw him.
Michael: I’d recommend it to every person that could be wearing dentures. There’s truly nothing that has in terms of taking one action or one step in my life that has impacted the quality of my life more.
Suzanne: Yeah, I would definitely recommend dental implants to anybody who was thinking of getting them because the process was pretty painless and just the overall result is just really great.
Christina: Ask your dentist if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.
Narrator: To learn more about Dr. Koos and Chicago’s most unique oral surgery and dental implant studio, visit orasurgery.com and take a video tour. To schedule a consultation, as the first step to experiencing how dental implants can improve your smile and even your life, please call (312) 328-9000.