Dental Implants – Chicago, IL

A Permanent Solution for Missing Teeth

Dental implants are widely considered to be the “gold standard” when it comes to tooth replacement because they bring back both the visible crown and hidden root unlike every other prosthetic. At University Dental Professionals, we pride ourselves on being able to offer truly world-class implant care thanks to our in-house prosthodontist, Dr. Chou, and periodontist, Dr. Yousuf. Together, they are able to handle every part of the process to replace missing teeth with dental implants in our Chicago, IL dental office so that you can recover your smile quickly and enjoy strong and beautiful results for decades to come. Give us a call today to get started!

Woman with gorgeous smile after dental implant tooth replacement

Why Choose University Dental Professionals for Dental Implants?

  • Entire Dental Implant Procedure Completed Under One Roof
  • Fair & Affordable Fees That Suit Any Budget
  • State-of-the-Art Dental Technology for Safe, Comfortable Treatment

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant being placed in the lower arch

A dental implant is actually not a replacement tooth on its own, but rather a prosthetic tooth root. It’s a small titanium post that is positioned inside the jawbone to mimic the foundation of a natural tooth. Dental implants bond to the jawbone just like real teeth thanks to a process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, they can be attached to custom-made crowns, bridges, or dentures via a metal abutment.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

smiling businessman standing outside of his office

Reconstructing your smile with dental implants is a whole lot different than doing so with traditional dentures or dental bridges. In fact, it requires multiple appointments over the course of at least a few months. However, every step of the treatment will happen in our Chicago dental office under the supervision and guidance of dental implant experts who have tailored their approach to your unique needs. No two dental implant patients have the exact same treatment process, but the four basic steps you’ll go through are the initial consultation, the dental implant placement surgery, osseointegration, and the delivery of your implant restorations.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Chicago implant dentist smiling and holding dental implant model

If you’re interested in rebuilding your smile with dental implants, your first step is to come visit us for a consultation. One of our in-office specialists will meet with you and take the time to understand your goals for you smile. Then, they’ll check to make sure that you’re a good candidate for dental implants with an examination and digital X-rays. Issues like cavities, gum disease, and inadequate jawbone density can threaten the success of dental implants, so they’ll need to be treated first if discovered. Then, once you’ve been cleared as a good candidate, they’ll walk you through every step of your dental implant treatment, including length and cost estimates, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Dental Implant Surgery

Man smiles after getting dental implants in Chicago

The next step is your dental implant placement surgery, which is performed right here in our Chicago office. While other practices need to refer their patients to an unfamiliar specialist for this step, our highly trained and experienced specialists are experts in every step of the dental implant process. This start-to-finish convenience means that you’ll save time and money while working with a dental team you already know and trust.

We’ll use reliable numbing products to ensure you are completely comfortable before we begin the procedure. Then, we’ll make one incision in the gums for every dental implant you’ll be receiving to access the jawbone. The dental implant(s) will be inserted into their pre-planned areas in the jaw and then the gums will be closed again. We’ll make sure you have all the post-op aftercare instructions you need before sending you home to heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Diagram of how dental implants in Chicago work during osseointegration

It will only take a few days for you to get back to all your everyday activities after your dental implant surgery. However, your jawbone will need much more time to heal. Over the next four to six months, a process called osseointegration will occur, where the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue. While this step does take quite some time, it’s this unique process that gives your new smile the potential to last a lifetime. Once you’ve healed enough, you’ll return to our office to have the top of your dental implant exposed and a small connector piece called an abutment attached.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Chicago implant dentist holding restoration and model implants

Lastly, it will be time to top your dental implant(s) with your beautiful, custom-made restoration. Depending on how many teeth you are missing and how many dental implants you received, this restoration could be a crown, bridge, or denture. We’ll check to make sure your bite feels comfortable and review the basics of caring for your dental implant, and then you’ll be ready to walk out of our office and enjoy your brand-new smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

dental implant patient pointing to her smile

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option available today that replaces the entire structure of a missing tooth or teeth. Traditional dentures and dental bridges only restore the visible crowns of teeth, leaving the roots missing and the replacement teeth less stable, functional, and comfortable as a result. Dental implants are designed to restore missing teeth from the roots up, making them virtually indistinguishable from real teeth in every way! Read on as we go over just a few of the most popular ways our patients says that dental implants have improved their lives.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman with beautiful smile thanks to dental implants in Chicago

Dental implants are so much like natural teeth that you probably won’t even notice they’re there in your day-to-day life. You can continue to enjoy life to its fullest without missing teeth or an ill-fitting restoration holding you back! Dental implants provide daily benefits like:

  • Restored biting force of 80% or more, which is far more than dentures or dental bridges. You’ll be able to confidently eat steak, apples, nuts, and anything else on your plate!
  • Care-free maintenance, since dental implants can be cared for just like natural teeth.
  • Absolute confidence in your new smile, because you’ll never have to worry about your dental implants coming loose, clicking, or popping out of place at embarrassing times.

Health Benefits

Healthy couple with dental implants in Chicago exercising

This state-of-the-art tooth loss solution also offers a bevy of benefits that you may not notice right away, but have a significant impact on your oral and overall health nonetheless. This includes things like:

  • Prevention of jawbone deterioration, which often follows tooth loss. Since dental implants act as roots, they stimulate circulation in the jawbone to keep it strong and healthy.
  • A healthier choice for remaining teeth, since dental implants don’t require altering of healthy teeth or rely on existing tooth structure or gums for support, like traditional bridges and dentures.
  • Improved oral health, including a lower risk of cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and further tooth loss.
  • Improved overall health, because studies show that good oral health has a positive influence on your overall health and lowers your risk of systemic conditions.

Long-Term Benefits

Young woman admiring her new dental implants in Chicago

Dental implants are no doubt a long-term investment in your quality of life. They offer many benefits that you can expect to enjoy for decades to come, like:

  • Reliably successful, boasting an impressive success rate of over 95% even 10 years after placement.
  • Permanent solution for missing teeth, since dental implants can easily last a lifetime with the right care.
  • Saves thousands of dollars in the long run, in many ways. With dental implants, you won’t need to buy extra adhesives or cleaning supplies, nor will you need to pay for a replacement every several years like dentures and bridges. Combined with their potential to lower your overall healthcare and oral healthcare costs, dental implants could easily save you thousands of dollars over the years.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Dental implants in Chicago

One of the best things about dental implants is their versatility. Our team can use them to help patients who are missing any number of teeth. After an exam, we can help you decide how many dental implants you will need as well as whether you are a good candidate or not. Fortunately, most adults who suffer from tooth loss tend to qualify for treatment. Our dental implant dentist in Chicago at University Dental Professionals will consider various factors and decide if you need preliminary treatment or are free to move on with dental implant surgery.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Woman smiling with dental implants in Chicago

Knowing whether you will be eligible for dental implants in Chicago can cause some anxiety, especially if you want to avoid wearing a traditional dental bridge or denture. The good news is that millions of people are already enjoying the many benefits of these prosthetics and that number is going up by 500,000 each year!

When meeting with a member of our team, you can expect us to evaluate the following:

  • Your oral health to determine if you have severe tooth decay or gum disease. If so, you’ll need periodontal therapy or tooth extraction to better prepare your smile.
  • Your overall health and if you’re in good enough condition to undergo minor oral surgery.
  • Your jawbone and whether you have enough of it to adequately support your implants and customized restoration.

Missing One Tooth

Dental implant in Chicago

Missing even one tooth can make eating, smiling, and talking more difficult. It can also lower your self-esteem, especially if the tooth was originally located in a visible area of your smile. Fortunately, University Dental Professionals can have a custom-made dental crown made and attached to a dental implant that is placed between two healthy teeth. This approach is less invasive compared to getting a bridge because the nearby teeth don’t have to be reshaped to make room for the prosthetic.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Implant bridge in Chicago

Multiple implant crowns can be placed throughout the mouth, but for consecutive missing teeth, just two implants can be used to support a bridge. This approach helps preserve the remaining teeth and also gives this prosthetic stability that can’t be replicated by a traditional, removable one. If the teeth are not consecutively missing, however, we can produce an implant partial that will function just like a traditional prosthetic but instead, is attached to dental implants inside of your regular teeth.

Missing All Teeth

Implant denture in Chicago

All it takes is just four to six implants to bring back an entire row of teeth. These can be used to attach a full denture to the jawbone, resulting in a prosthetic that looks, feels, and functions just like natural teeth. With implant dentures, a patient can eat whatever they like because it restores almost all of their bite strength. Not to mention, patients will enjoy greater jawbone stimulation that will prevent sagging or facial collapse, which often occurs in individuals who wear traditional dentures.

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Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Man’s healthy smile thanks to proper dental implant care

Your dental implants are designed to stand the test of time. They could be with you for the rest of your life! However, they can only reach that potential if they receive proper dental implant care in Chicago. With a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk that infection or damage with jeopardize their long-term success. Below, you’ll find practical guidelines for protecting your new smile for the long haul.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Woman flossing her teeth to protect her dental implants

Good oral hygiene reduces bacteria in the mouth and lowers your risk of developing a dangerous infection. To maintain a clean mouth, you should:

  • Keep up with brushing and flossing. You should brush thoroughly at least twice a day, and flossing should be done once a day.
  • Drink plenty of water. This helps to rinse away bacteria and food particles.
  • Follow oral hygiene practices that are specific to your restoration. For example, you may have to remove an implant denture each day for proper cleaning.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Bowl of nutritious food to support oral and overall health

Dental implants are able to handle virtually any food, but you should still put some reasonable limits on what you eat. Overindulging in sugary, hard, sticky, or acidic foods could damage your oral tissues. You might even damage your implant restorations or develop an infection. Instead, try to eat a diet that is rich in nutrients that support oral health, such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C.

Break Bad Habits

Man in black shirt quitting smoking to protect his dental implants

Some bad habits that can adversely affect dental implants in Chicago include:

  • Smoking harms the immune system, promotes dry mouth, and increases the risk of oral infections. It is one of the biggest risk factors for dental implant failure.
  • Using teeth as a tool. Using your dental implants to open packages or trim your fingernails could easily damage your restorations.
  • Chewing on hard objects. Chewing on ice, pen caps, or other hard items may break your restorations.

Protect Your Dental Implants

White and clear mouthguards sitting on reflective surface

If you play sports, it is important that you wear a mouthguard. Your mouthguard will reduce the risk of harm to both your oral tissues and your dental implants. While over the counter products provide a degree of effectiveness, custom mouthguards from a dentist are more comfortable and offer a higher level of protection.

Similarly, if you tend to grind your teeth at night, it is important that you wear a nightguard to prevent your upper and lower teeth from damaging one another.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Young woman at cleaning and checkup appointment for dental implants

You should visit your implant dentist in Chicago at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. During these appointments, we will thoroughly inspect your implants and answer any questions you may have about how to care for them. If we see any early signs of problems, we may be able to address them before they become serious and require extensive treatment. We may also remove your restorations and thoroughly clean your implant abutments.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Understanding cost of dental implants in Chicago

Every dental implant treatment we provide is 100% custom-designed for each patient, and because of this, the cost of dental implants in Chicago is always different from person to person. No two cases are the same, so it requires a thorough examination to better understand your needs. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss all the factors that can influence the final price, including how many implants you need, where they will be located, and which kind of restoration they will support. We’ll also go over how we can make your treatment easily affordable using your insurance and financing.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant consultation in Chicago

During your dental implant consultation, you can expect a member of our team to determine if you require preliminary treatments before receiving dental implants. Bone grafting, a sinus lift, periodontal therapy, or even tooth extraction may be necessary if signs of gum disease, extreme tooth decay, or bone loss are evident. If you require one or all these procedures, they will be added to the total cost.

Once you are cleared for the surgical portion of your treatment, our implant dentist in Chicago will complete the entire process in-house so you can remain in one convenient location the entire time. This will make the payment portion of your treatment much less convoluted, as you won’t be required to pay a separate fee to an outside specialist.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Dental implant in Chicago

As you continue to discuss your proposed plan, you will learn the parts of your dental implant are also components of the overall cost:

  • How many implants you will need – A single missing tooth only requires one titanium post. A dental bridge requires two, and a full denture requires between 4 and 8. The more dental implants in Chicago you need, the higher your overall cost.
  • The materials used – Titanium and zirconia are most commonly used, as they are known for their ability to fuse well with bone.
  • The type of restoration – The number of teeth you are missing greatly determines the type of restoration you will need (i.e., an implant crown, bridge, or denture).
  • The brand – Dental implants come in all shapes and sizes. There are also many different brands; however, while it is our decision as to which brands and manufacturers to use, this information will all be discussed during your initial consultation.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

Man with dental implants smiling in Chicago

As you consider dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you may wonder if they are worth the financial investment. When you begin to look at all the ways you’ll save money versus moving forward with dentures or a dental bridge, you’ll be surprised to learn:

  • You won’t need to purchase dental adhesives
  • You won’t need to buy specialized cleaning supplies
  • You won’t need to worry about having your prosthetics adjusted or replaced every few years
  • You’ll reduce your risk for systemic issues that often occur as a result of tooth loss, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Dental insurance paperwork in Chicago

Some dental insurance companies indeed understand that dental implants are now more medically necessary and are willing to provide coverage; however, many still do not offer this type of financial safety net. They may agree to pay for your customized restoration or preliminary treatments, and our team at University Dental Professionals will be happy to retrieve that information for you. We’ll also find ways to help you maximize your policy as well as determine if your medical insurance company will agree to pay any portion of your treatment.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Person at calculator and tooth mold in Chicago

If you are uninsured or need assistance paying the remaining of your bill, you have the ability to choose from one of the following options:

  • UDP Prevention Plan: By paying one low annual fee, you can receive access to preventive care as well as 15% off other available services.
  • Flexible Financing: Whether you choose Lending Club or CFI, you can choose a plan that is right for you and allows you to stay well within your budget as you make monthly payments toward the cost of your treatment.

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

older woman smiling after getting dental implants in Chicago

Once your dental implants are placed, the recovery process begins. Although it may sound daunting, it’s actually nothing to be worried about! Our team at University Dental Professionals will thoroughly explain everything you need to know to make a smooth sailing recovery. We’ll discuss what to expect, which symptoms are normal, and how you can help your smile heal. Below, we’ve provided a brief rundown of what you can expect throughout the healing period. If you have any questions and would like to speak with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance!

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

patient brushing teeth after getting dental implants in Chicago

It’s incredibly important that you take proper care of your new smile after dental implant surgery. By diligently following your post-op instructions, you can expect to make a comfortable and fast recovery. One of the most crucial things you must do is leave the blood clot on your surgery site untouched so that you can heal properly. To do so, be sure to avoid:

  • Spitting (use tissues or swallow your saliva)
  • Drinking with a straw
  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Touching the surgical site with your fingers or tongue

Common Side-Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

woman with side effects after dental implant surgery in Chicago

Have you ever had oral surgery before? If not, you’ll likely have a difficult time telling which symptoms are normal and which ones you should be concerned about. Luckily, we’re here to help. After dental implant placement, you may experience the following for the first few days:

  • Gradual and Intermittent Bleeding – You can manage this by placing a small amount of pressure on the gauze that’s on the surgical site. Keep in mind that the bleeding may go on for multiple days.
  • Swelling – Although it may last over a week, you can help it go down quicker by applying a cold compress on the cheek or jaw.
  • General Discomfort – You can alleviate your discomfort by taking prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication as directed.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

patient eating yogurt after dental implant surgery in Chicago

After your oral surgery, you should stick to a diet of softer foods that are gentle on your new smile. In preparation for your procedure, it’s strongly recommended that you stock up on:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Soup (make sure it’s not too hot)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta
  • Pudding

Even though you can return to your usual diet as soon as you feel up for it, you should continue to exercise caution with crunchy, hard, tough foods and avoid chewing directly on the surgical site.

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

patient holding up dental products

Following dental implant placement, you must keep your mouth extremely clean to ensure that the titanium posts successfully fuse with the surrounding bone tissue. You can brush your teeth the day after surgery, but you’ll have to be very careful around the surgical site. Make sure you rinse with warm salt water two to three times a day or after each meal. Don’t use mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol, such as Scope or Listerine.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

patient smiling after getting dental implants in Chicago

Once your dental implants have integrated with your jawbone, you can move on to the final step of the process – attaching your prosthetic teeth! After we’ve attached your crown, bridge, or denture, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity in the gum tissue. Fortunately, it should be completely manageable with pain medication and cold compresses. Since there are no major side effects to worry about after this step, you can enjoy a complete, fully functioning smile that same day!

Dental Implant Technology

Dental implant technology in Chicago

Our team at University Dental Professionals believes in providing exceptional service and top-of-the-line dental technology. While traditional methods still prove useful and effective, we can now generate more accurate and precise treatment plans, making it possible for patients to experience a more pleasant, efficient, and comfortable dental procedure. With dental implant technology in Chicago, we can thoroughly examine an individual's oral and facial structures to better plan for and execute the placement of these permanent prosthetics.

3D Cone Beam Imaging/3D CT Scanning

Woman at Cone Beam Scanner in Chicago

The 3D Cone Beam Scanner is an advanced piece of dental technology that allows for greater accuracy and precision when planning and preparing for dental implant placement. Taking a 360-degree scan of a patient’s facial structures, an implant dentist in Chicago can review the tissues, nerves, jawbone, gums, teeth, and other nearby structures to determine if a patient is eligible for treatment. It is also helpful in determining if preliminary treatments are necessary before moving forward with dental implant surgery.

Instead of relying on traditional X-rays, this unique system provides up to 200 high-resolution photos, which are then projected onto a computer screen. Our team can then determine where the ideal location will be for implant placement to ensure maximum support and longevity.

Using the 3D Cone Beam Scanner allows our team to better ensure safety, efficiency, and a high success rate once dental implants in Chicago are firmly in place.

Dental Implant Failure and Salvage

Older couple smiling with dental implants in Chicago

Dental implants are chosen by so many people for a variety of reasons, however one of the most important benefits is that they have a success rate of 95% even after 10 years. That said, even though it is slight, there is a chance that they can fail. As soon as you notice a change or anything wrong with your dental implants, contact us right away for treatment. We may be able to use implant salvage treatment to save your smile and get you back to your normal routine.

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Dental Implant FAQs

Question marks overlaying an image of man using a laptop

When you’re learning about dental implant treatment, it can feel overwhelming at first. Our goal at University Dental Professionals is to help you feel comfortable about your upcoming dental treatment and answer all of your questions to the fullest extent. For convenience, we’ve included some of the most common questions we’ve received over the years on our website! If your question is not listed or you’d like to speak with us in person, feel free to give us a call to set up a dental implant consultation.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

If you have good oral and overall health, dental implants are a very successful treatment when placed by an experienced professional. In the event that you have low jawbone density or gum disease, we’ll want to make sure these issues are fully resolved before completing implant placement. This will ensure your treatment is not only safer, but more successful. With that said, patients who have preexisting conditions like diabetes, cancer, or other medical issues that increase overall risk and negatively impact the body’s ability to heal, please tell us during your consultation as well as consult with your general practitioner before receiving treatment.

Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?

In most cases, patients only need to take one to two days off to recover after receiving dental implants. This means by timing your procedure ahead of the weekend (or whatever days you have off from work), you can get your teeth replaced without too much interruption in your schedule. The more implants you receive, however, the more days you may want to set aside. Additionally, those who have physically demanding jobs may want to take more time off as strenuous activity can affect your body’s ability to heal.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Smokers (and tobacco users in general) are at higher risk of dental implant failure compared to those who do not smoke or use any tobacco products. Consuming tobacco in any form causes dry mouth, slows down your body’s healing process, and makes it more difficult for the implant to fuse with your jaw’s bone tissue. Smoking during the healing process can also lead to dry socket, a painful condition where the blood clot that forms over the implant site becomes loose. If you want to complete dental implant treatment, you should quit at least two weeks ahead of your procedure and only resume smoking after two to three months of healing. However, we strongly advise that you quit using tobacco entirely if you want your dental implant to last.

Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have Dental Implants?

Our office will capture impressions of your mouth in order to personalize your dental restorations to the fullest extent. Whether you receive a dental crown, bridge, or denture, you can expect it to be color-matched to any existing teeth as well as your gum tissue for the best esthetics possible. After they are attached, no one should be able to tell that you had dental implants placed (unless you tell them of course). Since the implants are fused into your jawbone, there’s no need to hold your jaw in any particular way to keep them stable. This is a common issue for those with poorly-fitting dentures.