• Highland Park

  • 1893 Sheridan Rd. Suite 311
  • Highland Park, IL 60035
  • Phone: (847) 433-6636
  • Fax: (847) 433-2090
  • Email:

  • Downtown Chicago

  • 25 East Washington Ste #825
  • Chicago, IL. 60602
  • Phone: (312) 372-0411
  • Fax: (312) 372-0428
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Dental Implants

Dental implants allow you to replace missing teeth. You do not need to replace every missing tooth with an implant. Talk to Dr. Heffez to see what may be best in your case. Dental implants are actually replacing the roots of teeth. Your dentist builds the crown on top of the dental implants. The dental implant is best performed as a team with your surgeon placing the implant and your dentist making the crown. Many times an implant cannot be placed because it needs additional bone. The reason for this is that after an extraction the bone that was surrounding the tooth gradually melts away (resorbs.) A bone graft may be required. Dr. Heffez uses special techniques to restore the bone and gum to its preexisting levels before implants are placed.

Implant denture, Immediate implants
Bruxism, Short teeth, parafunctional habit, clenching, loss of vertical dimension
Onlay Bone Graft
Distraction osteogenesis, Bone grafting
Distraction osteogenesis. Severe bone defects.
Complicated Implant Restoration, Implant failing, Implant failure, Implant in the esthetic zone
If you are having a medical emergency, go to the nearest emergency room for treatment and call Dr. Heffez. Do not try to problem solve with these FAQ's.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are Iike screws that go into wood or dry wall. Except in your case they are going into your bone. They are replacing the roots of the teeth. These screws are special because they are internally threaded. This means that another screw can be screwed into them. That screw pokes out of the gum and it is on top of that screw that the dentist makes the crown or bridge is called the abutment. On top of the abutment the dentist either screws or glues a crown.

I have an allergy to metals. Can I still get implants?

Dental implants are made of a titanium alloy. That means there are more metals in the implant than just titanium. Many implants contain metals such as GOLD, zirconium, stainless steel, polyetherketone (PEEK), cobalt chromium and polyoxymethylene (Delrin).If you are allergic to any of these metals, you might not be able to have implants. If you are unsure, Dr. Heffez will patch test the implant to check if it is wise to proceed with implants.

How many do implants do I need to have?

Every tooth does not need to be replaced by an implant. So, if you are missing all your upper teeth you can have 4 implants if you want a denture (removable solution) to snap over the implants. If you are looking to have teeth that you cannot remove (fixed solution) you will probably will needed 6-8 implants. A lower denture can be made over only two implants. The main limiting factor to placing implants in the lower jaw is the position of the nerve that gives sensation to your lower lip,chin, and gums.

Can I have "Teeth in a Day"?

When the bone has sufficient quantity and good quality, implants can be placed and restored in one day. The restoration is temporary. When the healing is completed, the final bridge, crown or denture can be fabricated. This requires coordination between the surgeon, laboratory and dentist.

Should I get a bridge or an implant?

Both are good solutions. There are pro's and con's to each solution. Let's take a look at each one. Bridge: In a bridge, teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth bridge the space. The teeth that support the bridge are called abutments. The tooth or teeth that are being replaced are called pontic(s). Sometimes, you will have a 3-unit bridge or 4-unit bridge etc...depending on the number of abutments and pontics there are. Just add the total number of abutments and pontics To get the total number of units. Your dentist evaluates the minimum amount of units needed in the bridge for you to handle all the biting force (loading). A Crown fits over an existing tooth. Some people call it a cap. A 3-unit bridge has two crowns or caps and an attached pontic.

  • Pro's
  • Been around for years
  • If either tooth on either side, the bridge fails and it needs to be replaced. You will incur the price of a new bridge if it can be remade. If the bridge fails it often means adding another tooth or teeth to the bridge to secure it. Sometimes, it means extracting one of the teeth that was used for support in the bridge.
  • Price it out with your dentist. The cost may be the same as an implant solution.
  • Usually can be started as soon as one month after the extraction and finished about two months later.
  • Con's
  • Often need to be replaced after 8-10 years because the gums recede with time.
  • Does not mean that. A bone or gum graft may not be required to make the bridge more cosmetic and easier to clean.
  • IT might mean cutting down an existing healthy tooth so that a crown can fit over it. In this situation, an implant is more desirable, because it does not involve sacrificing an adjacent tooth.
  • Bridges are not guaranteed.


  • Pro's
  • Been around for years
  • Independent o fetch adjacent teeth: if the tooth next to it fails it usually does not interfere with the implant
  • Excellent success in areas of good bone
  • Does not touch existing, healthy teeth
  • Con's
  • It's loss may mean that bone grafting will be required to be able to place another implant. This means additional expenses will be incurred.
  • Implants can fail immediately. This means the bone does not heal to the implant. The implant can usually be replaced and allowed to heal for another 4-6 months.
  • Implants can lose bone slowly around them causing gum recession, gum swelling, localized infection. In a cosmetic site, it may be better to remove this implant and replace it with another before additional bone loss occurs. In a non-cosmetic site, localized gum surgery can help to slow down the process of bone loss. Just because you lose some bone around. an implant does not necessarily and usually does not become mobile.
  • Implants are not guaranteed.

How long do I need to allow implants to heal before i can get my teeth?

The healing time is the time required for the bone to heal to the implant. When the bone has healed to the implant and the implant is ready to be used we say the implant is OSSEOINTEGRATED. The time for Osseointegration depends on the quality of the bone. The quality of the bone is best assessed at the time of surgery. Dr. Heffez Usually recommends that implants heal 4-6months for Osseointegration.

Who should do my implants?

A dentist who is trained and has the experience of placing implants should surgically place and restore an implant. Usually, a team is used. A surgeon working closely with the dentist places the implant and the dentist restores the implant. The surgeon may be an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist.

How long do implants last?

Implants are not guaranteed. However, implants can fail but do not commonly fail. If they fail it is usually due to poor bone healing to the implant. If the implant fails before they are used, the implant is replaced for only the charge for placing the implant.

Do I need a bone graft?

You might need a bone graft if you do not have enough:

  • Bone height
  • Bone width

You need enough bone to fit the implant diameter (width) selected for that site and then some. Remember there has to be enough bone all around the implant. A 4mm implant will require, at a minimum, 1mm of bone all around it. So, for a 4mm bone the minimum amount of bone needed is 6mm. Sometimes a CAT scan is used to estimate the amount of bone available. You need enough bone to fit the implant LENGTH selected for that site. Usually we seek to have an implant of 10-11mm. In some cases, a 6-8 mm implant is acceptable. Bone height is more difficult to create than bone width, and may be created by lifting the sinus membrane (Sinus Lift) if the sinus dips down into the bone. If you show your gums or the entire tooth on smiling you want to make sure that the gum and bone are re-created to the original level. Otherwise, your restored tooth will look too long for your mouth, you will show metal of the implant upon smiling or the dentist will need to make gum tissue attached to the crown to simulate the list gum. Dr. Heffez uses. Two special techniques to create bone height: Distraction Osteogenesis and sandwich grafting is a technique in which Dr. Heffez stretches the bone to create new bone. Sandwich Grafting is a technique in which Dr. Heffez splits the bone, creating a box of bone. He then lifts it up and tucks a bone graft In between.

Can I brush my teeth?

DO NOT BRUSH THE TEETH WHICH ARE CLOSE TO THE BONE GRAFT. Brushing can inadvertently pull at that stitches opening the wound. Wait one week for Dr. Heffez to evaluate the area after one week.

Do I really have to stay on a liquid diet for two weeks after the bone graft?

YES, unless Dr. Heffez feels your healing is progressing very well at the one week mark. Eating on the opposite side of the mouth can still cause pulling of the cheek, gum or incision.