Losing a tooth can pose a challenge to eating your favorite meals, and it may even detract from the brilliance of your smile, potentially impacting your confidence. However, while tooth loss can be discouraging, it never has to be permanent. At Advanced Implant and Periodontal Specialists in Winchester, VA, we offer a second chance at a complete smile to the S, offering state-of-the-art dental implants to ensure long-lasting, natural-looking results.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium or zirconia rod carefully inserted into the jawbone in place of a missing tooth. The implant fuses into place with the surrounding bone, where it can then serve as an artificial tooth root. On top of that implant, your dentist can place a custom-made replacement tooth tailored to match the look and feel of your natural teeth. Dental implants allow you to regain your smile and eat, chew, and speak with renewed confidence.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are widely considered to be the gold standard for tooth replacement, preserving oral health while offering full smile restoration. Some of the benefits include:
- Implants, if maintained, can last a lifetime.
- They help preserve your jawbone, allowing you to avoid unwanted facial changes.
- Implants can be placed without doing any harm to healthy adjacent teeth.
- Implants allow you to closely match your natural teeth for a seamless smile.
- Getting implants makes it possible to bite and chew as normal, enjoying your favorite foods.
Why are Dental Implants the Preferred Method for Tooth Replacement?
Dental implants have become standard-of-care for tooth replacement, offering greater stability and improved esthetics compared to other treatment options.
One of the main reasons why implants are so widely used is that they preserve the health and integrity of your entire smile. When you lose a tooth you also lose the root, which provides necessary stimulation to the jawbone. Over time, this loss of stimulation can result in bone degradation and changes to your facial appearance. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that helps you avoid this. And, unlike dentures and bridges, implants do not require shaving down healthy, neighboring teeth. Implants allow you to keep your one-tooth problem as a one-tooth problem.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Your dental implant journey will begin with a consultation, providing you with a chance to talk in-depth with one of our doctors. During the consultation, your doctor will collect your medical history, review images of your teeth and jaw, and verify that you are a good candidate for a safe and successful dental implant procedure.
A number of factors can affect eligibility for implant placement, including anatomy (specifically nerve and blood vessel positioning), age, and personal medical history. However, our doctors are creative in finding optimal tooth replacement options for every patient, and most people who are missing teeth qualify for some form of implant placement.
Getting Started with Implant Placement
The initial consultation is a critical part of your implant treatment. Our doctors take plenty of time to get to know you, discuss your oral health needs, and answer any questions. You can expect this consultation to last around an hour, and when you leave, you will have a clear idea about the next steps in your treatment journey. Your doctor will inform you of any preparatory procedures you need before qualifying for implants, including tooth extraction or bone grafting.
How are Dental Implants Placed and Restored?
Before your dental implant placement, it is imperative to ensure your mouth is ready for surgery. This means getting any periodontal diseases under control, ensuring adequate bone structure to anchor the implants in place, and removing any teeth that are non-viable.
On the day of your implant placement, you will be warmly welcomed by members of our patient care team, led back to a private treatment area, and provided with anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Your implant will be carefully inserted into the jawbone, then left for a few months so that it can fuse into place via osseointegration. A temporary prosthetic tooth will be placed, allowing you to maintain the appearance of your smile.
Before the final replacement tooth can be placed, it is important to allow plenty of time for the implant to fuse with the bone, letting it function as a steady anchor point for the permanent prosthetic. Once this healing process is complete, an abutment will be placed. This is a piece that gives your dentist access to the implant for the final crown placement.
Your permanent replacement teeth will be custom-made to match the color, appearance, and behavior of your natural teeth, promoting a seamless smile. Typically, the replacement teeth are secured to the implant by your regular dentist, at which point you can smile confidently and enjoy your normal diet.
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Post-Op and Recovery Timeline
Most patients are pleasantly surprised by the ease of recovery following implant placement. In fact, you may feel ready to resume your normal school and work activities within just one or two days (three to four days if a bone graft is performed). We advise waiting a month or so before resuming regular exercise and other strenuous physical activity.
Following dental implant placement, you will need to allow multiple months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. During this time, you may need to adhere to a few dietary restrictions, avoiding sticky or crunchy foods. By the time you get your permanent prosthetic teeth positioned, you should be able to eat as normal.
Some minor discomfort can be expected following dental implant surgery, but this discomfort is easily managed with over-the-counter or prescribed medication.
Frequently Asked Questions
Request a Consultation with Us Today
Dental implants provide a second chance at a healthy smile. Schedule a consultation in Winchester, VA with one of the experienced, highly trained doctors at Advanced Implant and Periodontal Specialists at (540) 535-0401 today.