At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, we are pleased to offer a permanent solution to our implant dentistry patients for missing teeth. Our office in McLean, VA now offers dental implants for tooth replacement. Dental implants are firmly fixed to the bone in your jaw, making them a permanent part of your smile. This allows for superior function, and makes dental implants an ideal choice for patients who want a natural-looking artificial tooth replacement. If you are interested in learning more about Dental Implants, or if you wish to determine whether you are a candidate, please call our McLean, VA office at (703) 448-1020 today!
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A dental implant is a cylindrical and/or tapered post, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root. When a damaged or decayed tooth is removed, both the visible part of the tooth, called the crown, and the root are lost.
A dental implant is placed in the jawbone so that it can fuse with your natural bone and become a strong foundation for replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth or for an implant-supported bridge or denture containing multiple teeth.
Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They are artificial tooth roots used to support restorations that replace missing teeth. They are one of the most effective options to replace one or more missing teeth, provided you have sufficient bone structure in your jaw to accommodate the implant. If that is the case, there are options for patients that don’t have sufficient bone, such as bone grafting prior to implant placement.
DENTAL IMPLANT OPTIONS
- Single tooth implant: restores a missing tooth with a dental implant fitted with a crown.
- Implant supported bridge: restores missing teeth with dental implants fitted with a multi-unit bridge.
- Implant supported denture: restores a full arch of missing teeth with an implant supported denture.
BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
Tooth loss can occur anytime and at any age. Some of the reasons for it may be due to accident, dental disease, the aging process, or tooth decay. With dental implants, you no longer need to worry about overcoming these issues. Some of the many benefits of dental implants are:
- Longer lasting than other restorative techniques
- Can help restore your self-confidence and enhance self-esteem
- Offer independent support and retention to bridges and crowns
Protection from any bone loss which may occur due to a missing tooth or teeth
Reduce any loss of height in your jawbone
You will be eating, talking, and smiling better than ever once your dental implants are in place. Be sure to take good care of all your dental treatments by brushing and flossing regularly.
CANDIDATES FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Good candidates for dental implants are those who:
- Have healthy teeth and gums
- Have sufficient bone density in your jawbone ( provides a strong foundation for the implant)
- Are missing one or more teeth
- Practice good oral hygiene
Certain individuals may not be a good candidate for dental implants because their personal habits or overall health may impede proper healing including:
- People with chronic systemic diseases
- People with uncontrolled diabetes
- Patients with periodontal disease
Patients who have periodontal disease will need to address this problem before considering implants. The required healing time takes place over several months.
Smoking inhibits the healing process and may interfere with successful implant placement, so smokers may not be good candidates for dental implants.
People with chronic health issues like diabetes or systemic diseases are also not good candidates for this surgery. Before considering dental implants, you will need to discuss your health history with one of our experienced doctors.
THE DENTAL IMPLANT PROCEDURE
The dental implant process will take several months to complete. After Arlington implant dentist Dr. Joseph Oh inserts your implants, it will take approximately three to six months for your jawbone to heal. During this time, the dental implant will fuse with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration. Your dental implant process is rather involved and complicated. Dental implants do require a significant commitment from both you and your Northern Virginia cosmetic dentist. The three main parts of a dental implant are:
- Root implant is crafted from titanium.
- Small abutment is placed on top of the root implant.
- Porcelain crown is placed to serve as your new tooth.
Our cosmetic dentists provide advanced imaging technology to plan and guide your dental treatment. Within 3-6 months, your bone structure will gradually accept and fuse with the new dental implant support. The porcelain and titanium which dental implants are made from are both strong and resilient.
HOW LONG DOES THE DENTAL IMPLANT PROCEDURE TAKE?
The dental implant process will take several months to complete. Once your jaw has completely healed and osseointegration has been completed, you will return to our office and Dr. Oh will place a small titanium post, called an abutment, onto the implant. An impression will then be taken to be used for the construction of your new dental crown. Once your crown has been made at the lab, you will return to our office so that Dr. Oh can attach it to the abutment.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE NEEDED TO COMPLETE MY DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Your dental implant treatment will occur in stages. After your consultation visit, you can schedule your implant procedure. That second visit focuses on the insertion of the implant or implants into the precise location or locations discussed at your initial session. After the implant procedure, you can expect two more sessions with Dr. Oh. The first will involve placing an abutment, a metal connector piece, on the top of each implant. At your final visit, you will receive your new artificial teeth, which are affixed to the abutment of your dental implant. In the best-case scenario, then, there are four sessions in our office. If you do not have sufficient bone tissue into which dental implants can be placed, you may require additional visits at the beginning of your course of treatment for bone grafting or other preparation.
DOES INSURANCE TYPICALLY COVER DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Some dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the costs associated with dental implant treatment. It is wise to contact your insurance company directly for detailed information. When you do, you might ask them about specific aspects of your treatment process, such as your consultation, x-rays, extractions, bone grafting, the implants themselves, and the restoration that will replace a missing tooth or teeth. If your tooth loss is the result of an accident or injury, your insurance may cover the entirety of your procedure. In some cases, regardless of the circumstances, insurance companies have a strict view of dental implant treatment as a cosmetic procedure. As such, coverage is not available. In addition to helping you understand your insurance benefits to the best of our ability, our staff can also provide you with information regarding financing so that you can get the care you need to reclaim your best smile.
HOW LONG DO DENTAL IMPLANTS LAST?
Your dental implants are expected to last indefinitely. The titanium posts should integrate completely into the jawbone in the few months after insertion. Once the bone has fused around the dental implant posts, it would take a significant injury or disease for them to fail. To obtain the very best results from your treatment process, follow your post-operative instructions with great care. If questions arise during your recovery period, please do not hesitate to contact us! We're here to help you get the absolute best outcome from dental implant treatment.
ARE THERE CERTAIN FOODS I SHOULD AVOID WITH MY DENTAL IMPLANTS?
It is important to allow your dental implants to heal completely in your jawbone before you return to eating anything you'd like. Certain foods could disrupt the stability of the implant while it is still integrating into the jawbone. In general, you will want to avoid the following until your dentist advises otherwise:
- Hard foods like nuts, ide, and popcorn
- Chewy, tough foods like steak, bagels, jerky, and raw vegetables such as carrots
- Crunchy foods like corn chips and pretzels
- Spicy foods that might irritate the surgical site
- Sticky foods
During your initial recovery period after your dental implant procedure, you need to adhere to your dentist's instructions regarding what to eat and what to avoid. Generally, if it is soft or liquid, it should be safe. Examples of nutritious, gentle foods for your healing dental implants include oatmeal, eggs, cooked vegetables, soft meat, and soup. Once your implant treatment is complete, you can expect to be able to eat pretty much whatever you'd like.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MAINTAIN MY NEW IMPLANTS?
Caring for your new dental implants is a breeze. Simply continue doing what your dentist recommends! The general guidelines for a healthy mouth include brushing twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste, flossing around natural teeth, and maintaining semi-annual dental checkups.
IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED IN THE DENTAL OFFICE?
Yes. At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, we have the state-of-the-art technology, highly experienced implant dentists and anesthesia options to perform dental implant procedures in any of our Northern Virginia dental offices.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH JAW BONE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Some patients do not have sufficient jaw bone in which to place a dental implant, but this does not necessarily mean that dental implants cannot be placed. A bone grafting procedure can create the solid foundation that is needed to support a dental implant and the chewing and biting forces that are exerted on a daily basis.
Bone grafting involves adding bone to the jaw. We can harvest new bone from a different part of your body, such as your hip, or we can create it synthetically. Not surprisingly, bone grafting can add six to nine months to the dental implant procedure. As this is necessary for the bone to grow and fuse properly before the dental implant can be inserted.
WHAT OTHER TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
If you find out that you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants during your consultation, Dr. Lee and Dr. Oh can help you find another way to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Dental implants are the strongest, most permanent solution for tooth loss, but we also offer other options, such as:
- Dental bridges
A dental bridge utilizes the teeth surrounding the tooth gap to provide support for the bridge while dentures can be used to replace a full arch of missing teeth.
DENTAL IMPLANTS VS DENTURES
As long as you are a suitable candidate for dental implants, they will provide you with a better replacement for your missing teeth. Dentures are generally only recommended over dental implants if you are not a good dental implant candidate. There are many drawbacks to having dentures, including the following:
- Dentures are a hassle to take care of at times
- People may be able to tell you are wearing dentures
- Over time, your jaw may shrink, making your dentures fit poorly
Unlike dentures, dental implants provide a permanent solution for missing teeth. Because they are secured into your jaw, dental implants will not dislodge or slip like dentures, providing superior comfort and reliability. Additionally, because they are used to anchor a porcelain crown as a replacement tooth, cleaning your artificial teeth becomes much easier. Without the hassle of removing dentures for cleaning, a proper oral hygiene routine with daily brushing and flossing is sufficient to maintain healthy teeth.
Dental implants also work to strengthen the bone tissue in your jaw. With dentures, your jaw bone tissue can become weak and can even collapse over time. With dental implants they help your jaw maintain its structural integrity, preventing jaw collapse and keeping bones strong.
DENTAL IMPLANTS VS DENTAL BRIDGES
Dental implants provide more security than traditional dental bridges. Because they do not rely on adjacent teeth for support, dental implants will not interfere with the integrity of your surrounding natural teeth.
Our experienced Virginia implant dentists know how important it is to protect your natural teeth. The process for dental implants takes longer than other methods of tooth replacement, but the aesthetic and functional advantages of dental implants make them an ideal solution for many of our patients.
SCHEDULE A DENTAL IMPLANT CONSULTATION IN ARLINGTON!
Missing teeth can cause social embarrassment and leave you feeling less attractive and confident. Additionally, missing teeth can lead to serious functional problems with chewing and speaking. A gap in your smile can eventually lead to bone loss and a collapsed jaw. If you are experiencing similar problems, dental implants might be the right treatment for you.
Our implant dentists in Tysons Corner understand that patients may have questions about implants. If you reside in Northern Virginia and require the services of a cosmetic dentist, please contact Galleria Dental Aesthetics. Call 703.448.1020 for your preliminary consultation. Dr. Chong Lee and his team look forward to serving you!