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Dental Implants

Will I still be able to get dental implants if my gums are really swollen after getting teeth pulled?

By Dental Implants No Comments

I got 3 teeth pulled Monday that are in horrible shape. I’m going to get dental implants at some point. It’s been 2 days, and my gums are very swollen. My left cheek is swollen too. I wasn’t expecting this much swelling. I’m worried about getting an infection and not being able to get dental implants. Should I call my dentist about this or just give it more time? Ashlyn

Tooth Extraction Before Getting Dental Implants

Ashlyn – Swelling after an extraction is normal; it’s part of the healing process. It’s the result of white blood cells and fluid moving to the area of extraction to start the healing process. After an extraction, your gums, and the area around your mouth and cheek can swell.

Swelling is usually at its peak two days after the extraction, and it should decrease within a week. This should not interfere with your ability to get dental implants. Your implant dentist will ensure the extraction site has sufficient bone density and is clear of infection before implants are placed.

While you’re healing from the extractions, your jaw may also get stiff. You will feel some pain that, like the swelling may peak in two days, but gradually decrease within a week or so. The extractions were completed two days ago, so the symptoms should gradually improve over the next few days.

While the extraction sites are healing, there are some things you keep in mind:

  • Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth
  • Drink plenty of water, but don’t suck through a straw.
  • Avoid vigorously rinsing your mouth and excessive spitting.

These activities can cause the clot to dislodge, and the site may bleed. You can apply ice packs to your jaw to control the swelling. After a few days, if the swelling or the pain gets worse, or the site bleeds excessively, call your dentist’s office.

Don’t delay getting dental implants

Also, you didn’t mention if you have implant surgery scheduled, but try not to prolong it. Jawbone shrinks in the location where teeth are missing. If you lack bone density, bone grafting will be required to ensure the implants are well supported. This will involve more time and money.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

There is pus around my dental implant

By Dental Implants No Comments

I have been waiting 2 months for my a couple of my dental implants to stop hurting. The doctor keeps telling me to give it more time. Last Friday I noticed that there was wetness around 1 of the 5 implants, and it looked too thick to be saliva. Yesterday morning, I dried the area in my mouth all around the implant and within seconds the liquid came back. It’s pus that is oozing from the implant. I am furious because I have gone back to the dentist about this problem and he keeps assuring me that I don’t need to worry. I can’t believe that it’s taking this long for 2 implants to heal when the other 3 seem to be just fine. Why are 2 implants hurting and 3 are okay? Isn’t this something that I should be concerned about? Troy

Troy – Absolutely. It is concerning that two implants are still painful while the others seem to be healing well. If pus is oozing from your implant site and it’s been two months since you’ve received it, you need to seek a second opinion right away.

Pus around your dental implants is a sign of an infection. If it’s left untreated, the following issues will result:

  • Prevent proper healing of the jawbone bone
  • Prevent healing of soft tissue around the implant
  • Spread to other areas of the mouth

What to Do If There Is Pus Around Your Dental Implant

Only see a skilled implant dentist for your second opinion and examination. The implant dentist will let you know what needs to be done to treat the infection. The following steps might need to be taken:

  • Remove the dental implant
  • Determine if bone grafting is needed at the extraction site
  • Wait for the area to heal before replacing the implant

You can schedule appointments with at least two board-certified prosthodontists to get reliable second opinions. Prepare your questions, take notes, and compare your options.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.


Can dental implants fail after 7 years?

By Dental Implants No Comments

Can dental implants fail after 7 years? I received 4 dental implants in 2010, and one of them is loose. There is also a lump just below where the crown meets my gum. I should also say that I feel the slightest wiggle in the implant. This is really bothering me because I like 8 hours away from the dentist who did the implants. As I think of it, I’m not sure that he is in the same location. I have to look it up. Until the last month or so, I’ve almost forgotten that I have dental implants. A little discomfort one evening as I was flossing my teeth gave me the clue. I just wanted to check with you first before I go to a dentist to take a look at it. I don’t want to be told that I need a new implant if it isn’t necessary. Just the thought of the time and monetary commitment is making me nervous. How could I have no problems at all and then 7 years later have a loose implant? – Joseph


Although it is rare, it is possible to have inflammation and infection around an implant that you’ve had for years. Usually an infection occurs within weeks or months of receiving a dental implant.

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

It is infectious disease that causes inflammation of the gum and bone that support an established dental implant.

It’s important to have a highly skilled implant dentist take a look at your implant site. If it’s left unchecked there are several risks:

  • The infection can worsen
  • Your jawbone can get infected or begin to dissolve
  • The implant can completely loosen and need to be replaced

There are several factors that can cause peri-implantitis

  • Smoking – It constricts blood vessels in your gum tissue and can cause inflammation and swelling
  • Loss of bone density – Certain medication, hormonal changes, or medical conditions can cause bone loss and interfere with the stability of dental implants
  • Periodontal disease – Unhealthy gum tissue will pull away from dental implants. Just as tissue that is infected or inflamed can cause natural teeth to loosen, it can also cause dental imnplants to loosen.


If your current dentist is aware that you have dental implants, he or she should ensure they are properly cared for and maintained. The issue you described should have been noticed during your dental cleaning and exam.

We recommend that you promptly schedule an appointment with a board-certified prosthodontist. He or she is trained and experienced in tooth preservation and restoration. The sooner you act, the less time and money it will cost to correct the issue.

This post is sponsored by American Board certified prosthodontist and Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Are dental implants the best option for a hockey player?

By Dental Implants No Comments

As a semi-pro hockey player I’m wondering if dental implants are right for several teeth that have been knocked out. I’ve been wearing partial dentures but they are super uncomfortable. I’m also sort of worried about getting dental implants and having them knocked out again. Is there something less expensive but just as good as dental implants for people who regularly get teeth knocked out? I’m not sure how to handle this situation. I knew the risks going into the game, but now that it’s actually happening I’m getting nervous about my appearance. I’m proud to be in the semi-pros, but I also want a decent smile. Thanks. Jon


If you’re playing hockey in the semi-pros, it’s most likely that you’ve been told to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth. Do you regularly wear it?

Protect Your Teeth and Your Investment in Dental Implants

If you don’t already do so, start wearing a custom mouth guard for every game. Dentists provide custom mouth guards that are made from impressions of your teeth. Several factors must be considered before you can receive dental implants.

If you regularly wear a mouth guard, dental implants might be an option for you. But if you experience a lot of impact to your mouth, implants can loosen and fall out, just like natural teeth. A dental bridge might be an option for you. It’s easier to add knocked out teeth to a bridge than to have individual implants replaced.

We recommend that you visit a prosthodontist for an examination and diagnostic studies. The health of your teeth will be assessed to ensure you don’t have periodontal disease. Gum disease reduces support for your teeth and can make them more easily fall out upon impact. Periodontal disease must be treated before receiving dental implants. Otherwise, the implants and your jaw bone won’t fuse to provide maximum support.

If you decide to get dental implants, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • There is a healing period of several months before they are completely stable.
  • During this time you should avoid any situation that might result in impact to your face and teeth. You will be advised to avoid games and practice sessions.
  • An impact to your face or mouth can cause infection around the implants or dental implant failure. The implants would need to be replaced.

Schedule an appointment with a skilled prosthodontist to determine your options and what you can expect from each of them. Be certain to let him or her know that you are a semi-pro hockey player. Regardless of the treatment you receive, it needs to be planned for a time that you’re not in the midst of game season. This will give you time to receive the treatment and to have a healing period if you opt for dental implants.

This post is sponsored by American Board certified prosthodontist and Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

My dental implants hurt when I eat

By Dental Implants No Comments

I was thin enough when I got dental implant dentures. Now I look like Death Sucking on a Lifesaver. It’s horrible and I need help because my diet is very limited. My implants hurt when I eat and I’m losing weight fast. I think I have an incompetent implant dentist who keeps telling me to give it more time. I’ve also lost my appetite because of the stress of wondering about how many more thousands of dollars it’s going to cost me to get the implants replaced. Any pressure on the teeth just sends pains riveting through my mouth. I think chewing on the right side is worse than the left. Although I’m usually a right-side chewer I’ve tried to make the adjustment. Everything about eating is uncomfortable. As I’m mentioning it, I should say that I don’t have pain unless I am eating. I got the implants in March and this is an ongoing problem. My dentist is clueless. If you can give me any idea of what is going wrong so I can tell her what she might look for, I would really appreciate it. Thanks. Joan


Pain after dental implants can be caused by several different factors. Pain and swelling during the initial healing phases is normal, but after four months of implant placement, you certainly should be able to eat without pain. And you shouldn’t be losing weight.

Your dentist should definitely be working hard to find the cause of your pain. It’s possible that there is a problem with the construction of the denture or the way your denture teeth fit together. But without an examination from Dr. LaVacca, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause.

What to Do If Your Implant Dentures Hurt When You Eat

If your dentist isn’t addressing the issue, we have several suggestions:

  • Schedule an appointment with at least two, experienced implant dentists. Include a prosthodontist as one choice.
  • Avoid mentioning your dentist’s name, and don’t provide the full story.
  • Talk about your symptoms and when you feel them. Let each dentist know that you’ve experienced pain since you received your dental implants.

An experienced implant dentist or prosthodontist will examine your implants and implant dentures to determine the source of your pain. Additional diagnostics studies might be required, and your bite (the way your denture teeth fit together) will be checked.

It’s possible that rather than a dental implant mistake or failure, your denture teeth need minor adjustment, and you will be able to eat without pain. If the issue is more serious, the dentist who completed the work should accept responsibility and give you a refund or a partial refund to have the issues corrected. Your new implant dentist or prosthodontist will let you know what is needed to have your dental records transferred to his or her office.

This post is sponsored by American Board certified prosthodontist and Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.



Are Lil Wayne’s teeth dental implants or a grill?

By Dental Implants

Are Lil Wayne’s teeth dental implants or a grill? Have you seen the itsy bitsy teeny weeny diamonds on his teeth? Who is right? Me or my brother?  I say it’s a grill and my brother thinks it’s his real teeth. I figured an expert can look at pictures of those teeth and be able to tell what they really are. I think Rhianna wrote that song about shine bright like a diamond after having dreams about Lil Wayne’s teeth. LOL. But seriously. Me and my brother have a bet. Can you tell the truth about his teeth and how many carats of diamonds are on them? Terrance

Terrance – There are lots of questions about how Lil Wayne could get diamonds on his natural teeth. Many people think they have to be dental implants or a grill.

What Lil Wayne Has Said about His Teeth

In a 2010 interview, Jimmy Kimmel brought up the subject. Lil Wayne’s response was, “No, it’s not a grill because c…come out…Imma die with these. These are my teeth…” After Jimmy asked if the teeth could be switched out, Lil Wayne responded, “I can go to the dentist and switch them out, but it’s surgery.”
Check out the interview in the video below:

The rapper’s response provides clues:

  • If surgery is involved, his teeth might really be diamond-embedded dental implants.
  • His natural teeth could have been altered to embed diamonds in them.
  • If his teeth really aren’t removable, he might not be wearing a grill, unless of course, the grill was bonded on.

The dentist who provided Lil Wayne with the diamond-studded smile used to have several pages on his website dedicated to the rapper. Although the pages have been removed from the dentist’s website, they can still be accessed through Wayback machine. The pages confirm the dentist’s involvement, but they don’t reveal the actual work that was done. It’s illegal to reveal a patient’s medical or dental history.

Lil Wayne himself might not know the details of the procedure, but he does acknowledge that permanent dental work was completed to bling out his smile. Although we haven’t seen his teeth face-to-face, the photos look as if he might have a permanent grill or a dental bridge. The star says that surgery would be required to change his teeth.

Consider these facts that seem to point more toward a grill than dental implants:

  • Replacing crowns on dental implants doesn’t require surgery, but the rapper said surgery would be needed to remove the bling.
  • There is supporting evidence from a 2010 online news article that featured the dentist who created the flashy smile. The article first refers to the dentist’s services including dental implants, and later it states, “Requests for diamond grill work are more rare.” Hmm. Why the reference to diamond grill work? We can’t be sure, but it makes us wonder.

The verdict is still out on whether the rapper has dental implants or a grill. Although we don’t have information on how many carats of diamonds are on his teeth, he reportedly paid $150,000 for the sparkle.

This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

dental implants years extraction

Can dental implants be done years after extraction?

By Dental Implants

Can dental implants be done years after extraction? This is 7 years to be exact. In 2010 I had 3 extractions on the top left side. I started out with a partial denture and never really liked it. Now I just hate my partial denture. I am exploring my options and I definitely don’t want a dental bridge. I’m looking for something more permanent that won’t affect my remaining teeth. I’m guessing that having to grind down teeth for a bridge is almost like losing even more teeth. What I don’t know is how difficult it will be for me to get implants now that I’ve waited so long. Should I have started out with implants in the first place or is there some way to get them even though I’ve been wearing a partial for years? Thanks Salvi


Provided you are a candidate for dental implants, it’s not too late to get them. Although it’s been ten years since your tooth extractions, dental implants are probably still an option for you. There are several considerations before your teeth are restored. We’ll discuss three.

Jawbone shrinkage

It’s been ten years since your teeth were extracted, so you might have some jawbone shrinkage. Your body resorbs the bone in places where teeth are missing. Sufficient bone density is needed to support dental implants. If you have bone shrinkage, bone grafting will build it back up. After the grafting procedure, a healing period of a few months is needed before dental implants are placed.

Individual implants

It sounds like you prefer individual implants. One dental implant is used to replace each missing tooth. There are several advantages, including:

  • Single implants look better than a dental bridge.
  • Individual implants are easier to keep clean.
  • Each implant will stimulate your jawbone and prevent further shrinkage.
  • Your gums are less likely to recede and show the framework of a dental bridge.

Implant-supported bridge

This option is more affordable, and it can be used to replace several missing teeth in the same area. The bridge is anchored with dental implants, instead of being placed on natural teeth that have been shaved down. Replacement teeth are suspended between the anchors. Over time, your gums can recede and the appliance will be visibly exposed.

Schedule Consultations for Dental Implants

We suggest that you schedule two or three consultations with experienced implant dentists—preferably board-certified prosthodontists, because they specialize in tooth replacement and restorations.

  • Ask friends and family members for recommendations, and compare patient reviews.
  • In advance of your consultations, write down any questions you might have or record them in a mobile device. Ask the same questions of each specialist.
  • Compare your options, the estimated cost, and your interaction with each dentist.
  • Ask to see before-and-after pictures of each prosthodontist’s work for individual implants and implant-supported bridges.

You’ll learn about reliable alternatives to your partial denture that will be durable and natural looking.

This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Will gum disease prevent me from getting dental implants?

By Dental Implants, Gum Disease, Oral Health

I have gum disease and I’m losing teeth. I want dental implants to replace them but my dentist tells me that he has to get my gum disease under control first. It was February of 2016 when he first told me I have gum disease and it seems like it hasn’t gotten any better. I’m not sure what is taking so long to get it straightened out. I don’t want to keep losing teeth while he tries to get things under control. Can I get dental implants from another dentist or do I have to wait for my dentist to figure out what he is doing? Thanks. Karmin

Karmin – Dental implants are the best option to replace teeth that are loose or missing due to periodontal (gum) disease. Before you receive implants, periodontal disease should be under control. If it’s been a year, and your dentist isn’t able to control your gum disease, it might be time to visit a periodontist—a specialist in diseases of the gum tissue.

How Periodontal Disease Can Affect Dental Implants

Dental implants are most successful in people with sufficient bone density and healthy gum tissue. Here’s why periodontal disease should be controlled first:

  • Advanced periodontal disease damages gum tissue and bone. Bone and gums should have a snug fit around tooth roots or dental implant fixtures.
  • If gum disease has caused your gums to recede, the base of your dental implants will be exposed. It will be challenging to keep the exposed area clean and free of plaque buildup.
  • Thin or receding gums around an implant fixture are unattractive. Either the fixture will show through thin gums, or be completely exposed if your gums recede.

We recommend that you have a consultation with an experienced prosthodontist. After an examination, 3-D x-rays, and a review of your medical history, he or she will let you know if you are a candidate for this treatment.

The prosthodontist will also determine if your gums are healthy enough and thick enough to support dental implants. Bone grafting and gum tissue grafting might be needed to ensure stability and success of your implants. In several months, the grafts will heal, and the implant fixtures will be surgically placed in your jawbone.

After your periodontal disease is controlled, if you receive dental implants, your oral health will likely improve. The fixtures stimulate bone grown and promote healthy gum tissue.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca

I should have listened to the Clear Choice reviews

By Second Opinion, Dental Implants

I want to let people know to be sure to read Clear Choice reviews for the office wherever they live. I know that all Clear Choice locations don’t have bad reviews but the one nearest me does and I should have listened. The reviews are accurate.

My experience has been horrible. I have lost $19,700 and I am left with an issue that is still unresolved. I am stressed about the amount of money it is going to cost to undo the damage. In November 2015 I decided to get implants to replace 3 decayed teeth. My dentist quoted me rates that I thought I could not afford. I had seen Clear Choice commercials before but really didn’t pay attention to them until one evening when I saw another commercial. I looked at review online and some were bad and others were good. I thought that’s normal especially for some customers who are impossible to please. I had a consultation at Clear Choice that I thought went pretty well and as expected, they asked me to pay up front. That’s what I read about in several of the reviews.

I got a loan with a moderate interest rate to make the down payment on the implants. I had the surgery but the implants are messing up my bite. Fortunately they are all on the same side of my mouth because the pressure of chewing sends pain throughout my jaw. Of course I contacted Clear Choice right away and an appointment was made. The dentist claimed he made an adjustment but I was still very uncomfortable. I gave it a week and called the office again. Another “adjustment” was made and I feel that the teeth are worse now than before. I don’t want to become obsessed with this, but I am certain that it feels worse. I called the office and didn’t get a return call back. So I went in person and after waiting about 30 minutes, someone came out to speak with me. I was offered an upgraded procedure for $8500. I am not a person who gets angry but the level of my fury was so bad that I felt like I would become violent so I left the office. I have called and asked to speak with my dentist, but he is always busy and I haven’t received a return call. Before I hire an attorney I wanted to contact a reputable implant office to find out how to handle this. Thank you.  – Dallas

Dallas – We are sorry to hear about the discomfort you are having with your implants and the difficulty getting a resolution. We suggest that you contact the Clear Choice corporate office and provide details along with dates of your attempts to contact your dentist. If the corporate office doesn’t offer to help, you can contact an attorney. It might be advisable to contact a consumer protection attorney anyway to ensure you correctly approach the issue with the corporate office. An attorney will also help you understand your rights.

Meanwhile, the issue with your implants needs to be corrected. If your bite is uneven, it can further jeopardize your oral health. It might be that your Clear Choice dentist doesn’t have the skill to find and correct the issue. We recommend that you schedule a second opinion with an experienced, board-certified prosthodontist. He or she can perform an independent exam and diagnostic studies to determine the cause of the discomfort in your implants and recommend treatment options.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist and implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Why don’t my dentures don’t fit on my implants?

By Dental Implants, Dentures

I’ve worn dentures since 2010. They were a nightmare since the day I got them. First I didn’t like the way they looked. They looked like plastic pegs. Also the way the dentures fit was driving me crazy. They were too big for my mouth and it was hard to keep them in. I paid so much money for them and had so many return trips to the dental center for them that I decided to tough it out. Last year I had enough of my dentures, so I started looking into new ones that look natural and fit well. I found a cosmetic dentist who also does implants. The dentures are beautiful. I had no problem with the implants healing correctly. The problem is that the dentures don’t fit right on the implants. The feeling is hard to describe, but it is very uncomfortable. It takes a lot of effort to snap them on and off the implants. Even my dentist has a hard time with it. My dentist calls it an adjustment period, but it’s been 5 months and I think by now I should feel comfortable with them. Why don’t my dentures fit on my implants? – Lyle

Lyle – Your implants and your dentures need to be examined to determine what is causing the poor fit. There are several possible causes.

Reasons Dentures Might Not Fit on Your Implants

  • The wrong attachments are used – It’s possible that the attachments used don’t match the snaps on the denture base. The attachments can be replaced.
  • The alignment of the dental implants or abutments – The dental implants or the abutments for snapping on the denture might be incorrectly positioned. Your denture needs to be adjusted to accommodate the angle, or it might need to be completely replaced.
  • The dentures – If the impression of your mouth wasn’t taken correctly, your dentures won’t correctly fit the implants. The snaps on the denture base might be in the wrong position. Depending on how long you’ve had your dentures they can be relined, or they might need to be replaced.

Get Help Quickly

It’s important to get the issue resolved. If dentures aren’t correctly secured to implants, it can result in damage to your dentures, the implants, or your oral tissue.

We suggest that you get a second opinion from an experienced prosthodontist. Although your cosmetic dentist has receiving training in implantology, prosthodontists receive two years of post-graduate training in tooth replacement and restoration. Look for the following credentials:

  • A board-certified prosthodontist
  • Membership in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • Membership in the Academy of Osseointegration

A skilled prosthodontist can evaluate the cause of the problem and make the adjustments needed to give your dentures a comfortable fit.

This post is sponsored by Naperville prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

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