in this section:
i-CAT | Tooth Extractions | Wisdom Teeth | Dental Implants | Bone Grafting | Periodontal Procedures |
Orthodontic Exposures | Apicoectomy | Facial Trauma | Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery | Oral Pathology | Sedation |
Sleep Apnea | Distraction Osteogenesis | TMJ Disorders
Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and their facial contours will be preserved. Our goals are to maximize the esthetics of the final restoration and minimize any inconvenience to our patients by making the procedure comfortable and efficient. Questions about dental implants in Ashburn or Leesburg, VA? Call our office for a consultation.
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants in our Ashburn and Leesburg offices are discussed.
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Usually, when you lose a tooth, it is best for your oral health to have it replaced. Missing teeth can affect your "bite" as well as your ability to speak and chew. Their loss can increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws and headaches. And of course, losing a tooth can affect your appearance.
The good news is that, most of the time, replacing a missing tooth is not an emergency. You have time to consider what replacement option is best for you and to make an informed decision.
The best way to describe a dental implant is to compare it to a real tooth. A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. The part of the tooth that you see and eat with is called the crown. Beneath the crown is the root, which anchors the tooth through the gum tissue to the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace a tooth, we first have to replace the root. A dental implant is a surgically placed device which replaces the root structure of missing teeth. They are made of specially treated titanium which is the same material used for artificial hip and knee joints. Titanium is well accepted by the body and allows bone growth directly against the implant surface (osseointegration). Essentially, a dental implant is a new root. This titanium root is fitted into a socket that we create in your jaw, replacing the lost root of your natural tooth. Your dentist will then make a crown to replace the aesthetic and functional part of your tooth.
If you are missing one or more teeth and choose to have it or them replaced, several treatment options are available.
A candidate could be anyone who is missing one or more teeth or anyone who may be unhappy with their dentures. Age has not been shown to be a factor that affects success although radiation therapy to the area and poorly controlled diseases such as diabetes can affect the success rate. Dental x-rays and, frequently, panoramic (or complete) x-rays of your jaws will be taken to evaluate your jawbone and to determine if it will accommodate implants. Occasionally, more detailed information is required and can be provided by special x-rays. They will help determine if additional tests or procedures are needed to place your implants properly.
Dental implants come in various shapes and sizes and have different types of surfaces. The actual implant selection will depend on a variety of factors related to your specific treatment needs and the most appropriate one(s) will be used. Once an implant has been placed in the jaw, recent advances in implant technology have dramatically reduced the healing time to between 2 to 4 months in most cases. When this initial phase of healing is completed, a support post called an abutment will be placed into the implant itself.
Occasionally this second step may be incorporated into the first step and is placed at the time of implant placement. A new crown will then be made and placed on top. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
The surgical procedure for dental implant placement has become predictable and comfortable. Most patients tell us the implant procedure is easier than routine tooth extraction.
Usually, the office procedure to place a dental implant takes about 30-60 minutes for one implant and no more than two or three hours for multiple implants. The placement process consists of the following steps:
After the implant is placed, the area will need to heal for two to four months in most cases. How long your mouth will need to heal will be determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.
The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. It is, however, considered more comfortable and more pleasant than conventional dental care. Frequently, most of the work can be done without even using local anesthesia.
The number of appointments and the amount of time required for each appointment is different for each patient. No two cases are exactly the same and regardless of the number of teeth replaced, the work must be completed with great precision and attention to detail.