If you have loose fitting dentures, dental implants can provide you with a more secure result. Dental implants are extremely beneficial; they look, feel and function like natural teeth. Implants can comfortably and permanently replace loose dentures and they have a 98% success rate!
- 1 What Are Dental Implants?
- 2 Benefits
- 3 Good Candidates for Dental Implants
- 4 Before & After Photos
- 5 Dental Implant Options
- 6 Consultation
- 7 Before the Procedure
- 8 Implantation Process
- 9 After Care
- 10 How Long Do Implants Last?
- 11 Cost
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that are used to replace missing teeth. Implants are placed in order to prevent and stop jaw bone loss. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or an entire upper and lower set of teeth. The implant is a small titanium post that is surgically anchored to the jawbone and then topped with a natural looking artificial tooth. Implants can be used under dentures for a more comfortable and stable fit. They also help preserve the remaining underlying bone. Your dental implant specialist will help you plan out where and how your new implant will be placed during an initial consultation at our Alexandria, Virginia office.
There is a multitude of ways that dental implants can improve your life. Not only do they perk up your smile, they provide a great boost for the self-esteem of a patient which might have been damaged by the loss of one or more teeth. They also make it easier to perform everyday tasks that an incomplete row of teeth may throw a wrench in, like eating, drinking, and speaking clearly. Implants increase your physical comfort and remain in your mouth permanently, without ever feeling loose or threatening to escape like dentures or other removable alternatives. They are specially tailored to your face, and therefore make good oral hygiene more achievable.
Good Candidates for Dental Implants
The good news is many prospective patients qualify for dental implants.
However, there are some health factors that could possibly preclude someone from undergoing this procedure.
- Bad gum health will prevent the gums from sufficiently supporting an implant.
- Bone degradation in the jaw puts the implant in jeopardy and may increase oral health risks.
- Smoking deteriorates the health of the mouth and gums.
- Patients undergoing radiation therapy for cancer may be put at risk of complication.
If you are seeking dental implants or are wondering whether this option might be the right option for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed to explore all of your options.
Before & After Photos
Dental Implant Options
There are many dental implant options to choose from based on your specific needs. Your doctor will decide and advise on which type of implant and implantation procedure should be used to address the issue and provide you with the outcome you’re looking for. For example, some options are used to achieve more temporary fixes, while some are far more permanent and can last you for many, many years.
The single-stage implantation process involves, as its name implies, just one surgical procedure. The stem-like implant is embedded in the gum, which is then allowed to heal. Once this period has passed, the abutment (the part that connects the implant to crown itself) and the crown are attached without going back into the gum surgically again. Though simpler, the single-step method leaves the gum site more vulnerable to injury during the healing period.
The two-stage employs two separate operations to place the full implant. First the stem is inserted into the gum jawbone, whereupon the gum site is stitched up and is allowed to heal. This may take somewhat longer than a single-stage implantation because the implant is embedded into the actual bone. After the healing process is complete, the doctor will open the gum during a second surgical procedure, revealing the implant in order to attach the abutment and crown. This method may sound more arduous, but it aims to provide better protection for the site while it heals and awaits the second step.
Endosteal implants are a type of implant that sets directly into the bone of the jaw, and for this reason they use the two-stage procedure. These provide the usefulness and security of permanence, and can provide a complete alternative to temporary devices like dentures and bridges.
Subperiosteal dental implants, conversely, are put in using the single-stage surgery because they don’t need to be embedded in the jawbone, instead sitting in the gum tissue on top of it. They can therefore be used to hold up the temporary dental framework that endosteal implants replace.
Please schedule a consultation at Old Town Smiles for additional implant types.
The kinds of connectors that keep the implant in place also vary. These are designed to connect the abutment to the section that is actually implanted in the gum or bone, and include the internal hexagon connector, the external hexagon connector, and the internal octagon connector. The type chosen will depend on the physical features of each patient’s face, as well as the type of abutment and external crown that will be attached to the implant.
Different styles of implant crowns can be chosen depending on the patient’s aesthetic preferences, as well as the location of the new tooth in the mouth. These range in size to account for wider, narrower, or standard crowns. There is also an array of coating options to imitate the appearance of the neighboring natural teeth; options for the outer look include a textured coating, a smooth coating, or a machined coating.
In order to decide whether dental implants are the right decision for you, and which kind, book an Old Town Smiles consultation visit today and get all your questions answered. Once the decision is made that dental implants are the right solution for you, Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed will perform a comprehensive exam and take a hospital grade 3-D CT scan of your jaw. By assessing your teeth-related needs, they can establish what the problem is as well as how to approach fixing it. Your doctor can address any concerns of yours at this time about safety and efficacy, and provide insight into the steps of the procedure itself, the recovery process, the expected results of implantation, and cost.
Before the Procedure
Preparing properly for dental implant surgery involves several measures, and your doctor will provide more individualized instructions during the initial consultation. These will include some restrictions as far as eating and drinking before the surgery. Based on any preexisting conditions or current prescriptions, you may be asked to alter or stop taking certain medications that could increase risks associated with surgery. She may also prescribe antibiotics to limit the possibility of infection. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your preparation instruction.
Surgery is performed under a general or local anesthesia; this will be decided during your initial visit. If there is a damaged tooth at the intended implant site, your doctor will remove it and prepare the gum. After the implant is placed, a gap of up to a few months is required for the area to heal completely. Only then will the abutment will be put in and the doctor will obtain a mold of your teeth for the crown. The visible portion of the implant will be added later on. This is a longer-lasting process that entails plenty of rest time between steps to ensure efficiency and safety.
In order to effectively take care of your new implant, you must practice excellent oral hygiene. This means keeping the teeth clean with proper brushing and flossing techniques, and staying clear of consumable products that could cause harm to the teeth and gums, like sugary foods and drinks, hard objects, cigarettes, and coffee. You should schedule regular follow-up appointments and checkups to make sure no negative side effects are arising during your recovery period and beyond. If bruxism (grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw) is an issue, seek treatment to avoid damaging the implant as well as natural teeth.
How Long Do Implants Last?
If all of the above measures are carefully followed, dental implants can last forever.
The crown itself may need replacement every 10 to 15 years, however, although taking great care of your teeth will of course lengthen its lifetime. If the implant is near the back of the mouth and receives less care while doing more chewing work, it may have a shorter life than those visible in the front of the mouth when you smile. Good oral hygiene instructions will be provided to help ensure your implants last.
The cost of dental implantation can vary based on the type of implant the patient is getting, especially a temporary versus a permanent one. It may also depend on the amount of damage that exists beforehand and the particular outcome they are hoping for. Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed can address pricing and provide more personalized estimates during your consultation meeting in Alexandria, when the doctor will have a better idea of your physical condition and desired results.