Dental Implants can help you get the smile you always wanted. At Clarendon Dental Arts we offer dental implants as a solution to effectively treat our patients with missing, or broken down teeth. You no longer need to rely on fixing these imperfections with dentures or bridges, instead we offer dentals implants as a solution at our practice in Arlington, VA.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a prosthesis used as an integral aspect of tooth replacement. Individuals suffering from periodontal disease, tooth decay or trauma may experience the loss of their teeth. To take place of the missing tooth, a fixture resembling a tiny screw, a metal column that is made of surgical-grade titanium is installed. The purpose of a dental implant is to replace a tooth’s natural root system and to provide stability for an artificial tooth or teeth.
Advantages Of Dental Implants
Natural teeth are vital to biting and chewing as well as functional speech and cosmetic appeal. Beneath the crown of each tooth is a root system through which nutrients are circulated up through the tooth to keep it alive. Losing a tooth means also losing this root system. While there is no longer a tooth to nourish, roots are necessary to stabilize the fixture that is used to replace the crown of a tooth.
“This is a wonderful practice. The entire staff is friendly, professional, supportive and extremely competent. Dr. Fresch’s care has not only improved my teeth and gums but my overall health as well. I can’t say enough good things about Clarendon Dental.” – Carol G.
What Problems Do Dental Implants Fix?
The primary objective of dental implants is to stabilize replacement teeth with a viable foundation. The reinstatement of secure positioning means that replacement teeth will be more resilient and stable. Additionally, dental implants also support the ongoing regeneration of bone tissue. Without the consistent stimulation of force delivered through roots, natural or artificial, the jawbone deteriorates at a faster rate. Ultimately, this can affect the appearance of the face.
- Replacement teeth are more stable
- Supports regeneration of bone tissue
- Stimulates roots of teeth
Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?
Good candidates for dental implants are individuals who have sufficient bone density, which we measure at the onset of treatment using technology such as x-rays. Ideally, patients will not smoke and will have good oral hygiene habits that have prevented the progression of gum disease. It is not necessary to have a full set of natural teeth to be a good candidate for dental implants. Thanks to advances in technique, dental implant treatment may be performed to help some patients eliminate the frustrations associated with full or partial dentures. To determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation in our Arlington, VA office.
The Dental Implant Procedure
At Clarendon Dental Arts, Dr. Fresch Gray performs the dental implant procedure which requires three different procedures. Because of the healing time, there is about 3 to 6 months between the treatments. The first procedure involves the actual incision in the gum for the implant, and the implant being placed. While the second procedure exposes the implant and helps the surrounding gum tissue. A healing cap will be placed on top of the implant and later on removed.
Dental implant treatment is conducted with a local anesthetic to maintain patient comfort throughout the procedure. After numbing the mouth, Dr. Fresch creates access to the jawbone by making a small incision in the gum tissue. The appropriate number of small titanium posts are carefully implanted into bone tissue and are then covered by the gums. Stitches are used to close gum tissue over implant posts. The installed implants are gradually encased in bone over the course of 4 to 6 months.
The second stage of dental implant treatment occurs after installed implants have had sufficient time to integrate into the jawbone. X-rays may be performed to observe the degree of osseointegration that has occurred before the abutment piece of the implant is installed. This second stage of treatment involves a small incision in the gums to expose the uppermost end of the dental implant. The abutment, or small connective piece, is situated onto this end and then surrounded (not covered) by gum tissue, which will once again be stitched into place. Gum tissue typically heals around the abutment within two weeks.
The third and final stage of dental implant treatment is the seating of the final restoration. This may be a crown, bridge, or full denture.
How Long Is The Implant Procedure?
Dental implant surgery is a relatively short procedure depending on the number of implants installed. A single implant can be inserted into the bone within about an hour. Multiple implants will increase the duration of the minor surgical procedure. Patients are kept comfortable with a local anesthetic. You will wake up to your newly inserted dental implants.
How Painful Is A Dental Implant?
There is no pain involved in getting a dental implant. We fully anesthetize the area of the mouth being treated before commencing with the implant procedure. After a dental implant has been installed, most patients experience only mild soreness, if any at all. Some are back to eating a normal diet within a day or two after implant surgery.
Replacing Dentures With Dental Implants
Many of the dental implant cases performed today are conducted to help patients whose tooth replacement has originally involved dentures. As you may know, dentures replace a partial or full set of teeth with fixtures that sit on top of the gums. Without adequate anchoring, traditional dentures are rather unstable and may cause discomfort. Furthermore, traditional dentures fail to provide the degree of stimulation necessary for bone regeneration. As a result, the jawbone deteriorates and facial contouring changes.
Denture-wearers can be excellent candidates for dental implant treatment even if they have suffered bone resorption. Techniques such as bone grafting have made it possible for many adults to restore proper oral function by stabilizing dentures with dental implants.
How Long Until I Can Use My Teeth?
Newly inserted dental implants are not yet ready to carry the full force of biting and chewing. Understandably, patients may be concerned about noticeable gaps in their smile as they go through their healing process. In many situations, this can be managed with temporary caps or bridges to preserve chewing function and a nice appearance. Our staff provides full post-operative instructions to implant patients that include suggestions for eating as their implants heal within the jawbone.
How Long Will My Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants integrate into the jawbone and can be expected to last decades, if not indefinitely. Because the titanium posts, just like natural roots, depend on optimal gum health for support, dental implant patients are encouraged to take good care of their teeth and gums with daily hygiene and routine dental checkups.
Do Tooth Implants Look Like Real Teeth?
Dental implants themselves are not visible; they are situated beneath the gums just like natural roots. However, when coupled with a lifelike restoration such as a dental crown, bridge, or full denture, dental implants support the highest degree of natural sensation and appearance after tooth replacement.
How Do I Care And Maintain Dental Implants After The Procedure?
Dental implants can last many years when good oral care habits are maintained. Fortunately, this is as simple as brushing teeth twice a day and flossing natural teeth that remain. For patients with implant-supported dentures, oral care may involve twice a day brushing, routine professional cleanings, and gum care as advised by the dentist.
What Are Alternative Treatments For Missing Teeth?
In instances where dental implants are not appropriate, tooth replacement may be achieved with full or partial dentures or a dental bridge. Because neither of these restorative options provides stimulation to support bone regeneration, dental implant treatment comes more highly recommended.
Schedule A Consultation
If you have a missing or chipped tooth, dental implants might be the right solution for you. Call (703) 525-5901 to schedule a dental implant consultation with Dr. Danine Fresch Gray at her office in Arlington, VA.