Replacing missing teeth is very important to your oral health and general health. While your teeth and smile should last a lifetime, teeth can be damaged or fractured by falling or eating certain foods. At Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington, we understand that accidents happen, but that shouldn’t mean you have to hide your smile. If you’re embarrassed by the appearance of your missing or damaged teeth, dental implant surgery may be a great solution for you. Contact our dental staff today to learn more about this procedure or to schedule an appointment!
Dental Implants Arlington, VA
If you’re among the thousands of people in Virginia who suffer from missing teeth, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Luckily, dental implants can give you a replacement tooth that looks, feels, and functions as naturally as your original tooth. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into your jaw to replace missing teeth. These days, dentists prefer to use implants with attached crowns as they can help preserve jaw structure by preventing atrophy from bone loss. These implants are made of metallic (titanium) and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible and safe for your jaw.
Types Of Dental Implants
Two of the most common types of dental implants include:
Endosteal Dental Implants – These dental implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. They typically come in the shape of small screws, plates, or cylinders and they are the most common type of implant used today.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants – Subperiosteal dental implants are placed under the gum, but not directly on the jawbone. This is an ideal implant for patients who have a shallow jawbone.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than five and a half million dental implants are performed each year in the United States. Dental implants are a very popular solution for many people. Some of the benefits include:
- Dental implants do not shift or slip and they are custom made to fit comfortable in your mouth and jaw.
- Implants can be cleaned the same way you clean your natural teeth, so there’s no need to remove them at night for cleaning or soaking.
- Dental implants do not rely on your neighboring teeth for support. This means that no tooth structure is lost during the procedure.
- Implants help prevent the shifting of nearby teeth. This helps preserve your jawbone and the overall contour of your face.
- Dental implants allow you to chew and speak with ease and they are an ideal dental procedure for people with missing teeth.
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Dental Implant vs. Dental Bridges
Dental implants are considered more invasive than dental bridges because of the oral surgery aspect. However, unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not require permanent alteration of adjacent teeth.
Dental implants also last longer causing them to cost less in the long run. Dental implants may be twice as much as dental bridges but if properly cared for they can last for 40 years or longer. Compared to dental bridges that only last 10-20 years. The more frequent replacement of dental bridges ends up making them more expensive than dental implants in the long run.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is performed in stages with time in between to allow for healing.
Damaged Tooth Removal: If your implant is replacing a damaged tooth the first step in the process would be extracting that damaged tooth.
Bone Grafting: If your jaw is not strong or healthy enough to sustain the implant your dentist may recommend bone grafting. A surgical procedure that uses bone fragments to stimulate bone growth and repair damaged bone. Learn More About Bone Grafting.
Dental Implant Placement: Your oral surgeon will cut open the gum to expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone and the implant’s metal post will be implanted.
Bone Growth & Healing: After the metal post has been implanted, you will need to wait for your jaw bone to grow and unite with the surface of the dental implant. This process can take several months. At this point in the process you will have a gap where the implanted tooth is supposed to be. For aesthetics we will provide you with a partial, temporary denture to fill that gap during this part of the process.
Abutment Placement: Once the bone has healed and fused with the implant. You may need minor surgery to place the abutment, the piece where the crown will eventually attached. In some cases the abutment is placed during the original implantation in which case this step can be skipped.
Artificial Tooth Placement: You will have impressions taken of your mouth and remaining teeth in order to make the crown. Once your crown is ready and your jawbone is strong enough to support the new tooth your dentist will install the crown. Learn More About Crowns
From start to finish, the entire process can take many months. The majority of the time is in between procedures and devoted to healing.
Enhance Your Quality of Life With Dental Implants
If you’re tired of hiding your smile due to missing, damaged, or chipped teeth, dental implants may be an excellent solution for you. Not only will you feel confident with your smile and appearance, implants will improve your ability to speak and eat without any pain or discomfort at all. At Gentle Care Dentists, we’ve helped hundreds of people remedy their dental problems through dental implants and other periodontal treatments and we would love to do the same for you. Contact our team today by phone 703-822-5583 or through our online contact form to schedule your next dental appointment!