Dental Implants

People are living longer, and they naturally want to maintain full use of their teeth and keep their beautiful smiles.  However, even with proper care, teeth do not always last.  The deterioration of a tooth can be due to decay, injury, disease or simply getting older.

Whatever the cause of the loss of a tooth, the good news is that a dental implant can be used to rejuvenate your smile, dental function and oral health.

A dental implant is a synthetic tooth that can be surgically placed into the jawbone.  The post is usually made of titanium, the same material often used in replacement of hips and knees.  It’s a metal that works well with the human bone.  A synthetic tooth is fixed to the titanium post, replacing the one that has been lost. When the tooth is permanently attached it feels more natural and stable.

The best candidate for a dental implant is a non-smoker with overall good oral health and enough bone in the jaw and good, strong, gums.

Strategic Uses for Dental Implants 

If you are missing a tooth and need it replaced, an implant with a dental implant will do the trick.  If you are missing several teeth in a row, correctly placed implants can be used to support a bridge (a set of replacement teeth).  If you have lost all your teeth, implants can be used as anchors for a full denture.

Advantages of Implants over Conventional Dentures

Implants look natural and feel and act more like normal teeth than dentures and have the same biting force, because an implant is placed into the bone, conventional bridges and dentures are not.  This instability can make it difficult to eat or smile without worrying.

Additional Implant-Related Services:

Sinus Lift Graft

Some people will find they need dental implants in the upper back area of the mouth.  In certain cases, the sinuses will get larger after the loss of the upper back teeth.  Since a dental implant must be surrounded by bone, and sinuses are air-filled cavities, a sinus lift and bone graft must be done before an implant can be placed in the area.  The sinus lift and bone grafting procedure restores sinuses to their original size and replaces the bone that was lost due to the enlargement of the sinuses.  This newly augmented bone takes about nine to twelve months to fully heal before the dental implants can be placed.

Bone Grafting

In the event the patient has insufficient bone to support the placement of implants (such as described above) bone grafting can be done.  During this dental surgery procedure bone is taken from another area of the patients mouth, often the back of the jaw or the chin, and grafted into the area that needs it.  The newly placed bone fuses (fully bonds) with the bone already there, creating a strong support for the implant.

Development of the Implant Site

It is not uncommon to find bone loss where an infected tooth has been removed.  When this occurs the bone grafting procedure can be done at the same time as the tooth is removed.  This is known as developing the implant site.  Once the graft is healed, the implant can be placed in the grafted area.

Computer-Aided Treatment Planning

Technology is the dental field is constantly improving and special computer software has been developed that allows us to evaluate CT scans in three dimensions.  This allows us to diagnose bone quality, bone quantity and bone location to ensure the best possible placement of each implant.

Dental Implant Maintenance

It’s important to keep your dental implant restored teeth clean and free of infection.  A dental implant can attract and accumulate plaque and tartar in the same way as any other tooth.  Talk to your dentist about caring for your newly restored teeth and your treatment schedule.

The better you care for your replacement teeth, the longer they last.

Contact our dental office and make an appointment.  We are here to help: (703) 318-8200