Posts for tag: dental implants

By River Forest Dental Studio
January 26, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By River Forest Dental Studio
May 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

Find out the many advantages of getting this long-term tooth replacement in River Forest, IL.


Millions of American adults are missing at least one tooth. If you are one of them then perhaps you’re considering the different treatment options available to you. Dental implants offer a long-term restoration that both looks and functions just like a real tooth. Find out why so many adults are turning to dental implants to get their full smiles back with our River Forest dentists Dr. Gina Piccioni and Dr. John Hartmann.

A New and Improved Appearance

Dental implants are made to not just look like real teeth but also function just like them as well. In fact, nothing comes closer to real teeth then dental implants. Since the implant fuses together naturally with the bone it makes the implant a permanent part of your smile. While we won’t be able to place the implant for you we can refer you to a dental implant specialist we trust. Once the implant has been placed and bonded with your jawbone, we can place the final restoration, the dental crown. If you have any issues with your implant, we can replace and repair a damaged implant crown to keep your new tooth looking its best.

Restore Speech

Whether you are currently dealing with gaps in your smile or you have dentures that may shift or move around, our River Forest, IL, restorative dentist understands that you may be looking for a treatment option that will make it easier to speak without worrying about your false teeth moving around. Since implants actually bond with the jawbone you won’t have to worry about your implants staying in place.

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Again

When you are missing one or more teeth it can be challenging to be able to sink your teeth into a lot of your favorite foods, which is yet another reason to choose dental implants. Once the implant is permanently in place you can be confident in your ability to eat all the foods you once loved without worrying about your teeth moving around. Make going out to dinner a fun experience again thanks to dental implants.

Boost Your Confidence

Nothing is better than knowing that the rest of the world won’t be able to tell that you have dental implants. You can feel confident that your false tooth looks just like the rest of your smile. So go ahead and fill that social calendar again and show off that beautiful new smile.

Have we piqued your interest in dental implants? Do you want to find out if this is the right way to replace your missing teeth? Need to repair or replace your implant’s dental crown? Then call River Forest Dental Studio and let’s sit down and discuss your options with you.

By River Forest Dental Studio
February 26, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.

For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.

Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by  at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.

That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.

If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.

With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.

Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants after Previous Tooth Loss.”

By River Forest Dental Studio
May 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

The month of May has been designated “Better Speech & Hearing Month” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Why would this be of interest to dental professionals? Because teeth are vital for good speech, and missing teeth can make it very hard to speak properly.

Speech is all about sounds, and forming sounds correctly requires proper positioning of oral structures such as the lips, tongue and teeth. For example, there are some words that are almost impossible to pronounce correctly without touching your tongue to your teeth. In fact, one of the hardest words to say without teeth…is teeth!

Missing teeth can affect speech indirectly as well, by reducing self-confidence. People who are missing front teeth often develop the habit of talking behind their hand or mumbling to avoid revealing the gap in their smile. Not being able to speak clearly and confidently can affect not only your appearance, but also your job prospects and social life. So what can you do about missing teeth?

Dental implants are today’s preferred tooth-replacement method. Implants are small titanium posts that are inserted in the jaw bone beneath your gums. They serve as “roots” to hold realistic-looking prosthetic (artificial) teeth in place. Implants can be used to replace one tooth, a group of teeth, or an entire row of teeth (upper or lower). Sometimes a dental implant can be placed the same day a failing tooth is removed so that you won’t need a second surgical procedure.

The healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap can also be used to support one or more replacement teeth. This method, called bridgework, can be used to replace a single tooth or several teeth in a row. Another option is removable dentures, which do not stay in the mouth all the time.

Each of these options has its benefits and risks. We’d be happy to discuss all of them in detail and help you decide which would be best in your own situation. To learn more about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can also read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “New Teeth in One Day.”

By River Forest Dental Studio
September 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you looking for a long-term option to replace your missing tooth? With proper care, dental implants can last your entire life. Dr. Gina Piccioni and Dr. John Hartmann, your River Forest, IL dentists at River Forest Dental Studio, shares some of the benefits of implants.

Implants become part of your jawDental Implants

Unlike bridges and dentures, implants don't just rest on top of your gums, but actually become part of your jawbone. Titanium dental implants look like tiny screws. During a minor surgical procedure, your dentist creates an opening in your hole and places the implant inside. Over the course of several months, the implant bonds to your jawbone and functions as a root for the crown that will replace your tooth above the gum line.

Bonding offers long-term benefits

Because your implant bonds with your jawbone, it will probably never need to be replaced, unlike bridges and dentures. As long as you care for your implant properly, it will remain firmly attached to your bone. Care is as easy as brushing and flossing. It's particularly important to floss at the base of the crown to prevent an infection that could threaten the health of your implant. Using interdental brushes can make it easier to clean the spaces around your crown.

Dental implants may be the less expensive option in River Forest

Cost is an important consideration when you choose any type of dental restoration. Although implants may be more expensive initially, it's important to also consider the long-term costs. If you choose a bridge or dentures instead of implants, you'll need to calculate the cost of replacing these appliances at least two or three times during your life, keeping in mind that costs will only increase over time. When you compare the lifetime costs of bridges or dentures to the one-time cost of dental implants, you may just discover that implants are the more cost-effective choice.

Would you like to learn more about dental implants? Call Dr. Piccioni and Dr. Hartmann, your River Forest, IL dentists at River Forest Dental Studio, at (703) 366-6760 to schedule an appointment. Improve your smile with dental implants!

Gina Piccioni, D.M.D. and John G. Hartmann, D.D.S.

River Forest, IL Dentist

River Forest Dental Studio