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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Potomac
2010 Opitz Boulevard, # D, Woodbridge, VA 22191

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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

If you or a family member is missing teeth, it can affect the quality of your bite and your smile. This can make it difficult or uncomfortable to interact with others and to feel confident in social and business situations. Dental implants can make a real difference in your appearance and self-assurance. Here are some of the most important facts you should know about these advanced dental solutions.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants consist of three parts that work together to create a replacement for one or more permanent teeth. The three parts of a typical dental implant are the post (or body), the abutment and the prosthesis. Each of these components must be applied by a qualified and knowledgeable dentist to provide the best outcomes for patients. The post is implanted into a hole that your dentist will drill into your jawbone. This part of the implant is allowed to heal in place until it is secure. The abutment is then attached and allowed to heal before the prosthetic teeth are connected, which completes the process.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are available in two types:

  1. Endosteal implants fit directly into the jawbone and offer the best possible support for your artificial teeth or bridge.
  2. In some cases, subperiosteal implant procedures are necessary. These implants are placed under gum tissue and offer a less secure attachment for your dental appliances.

The purpose of dental implants is to provide a comfortable and permanent solution for replacing missing teeth.

What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure

Your dental implant treatment will typically occur on an outpatient basis. This process usually takes a few months from start to finish because of the healing process that must take place between each surgical procedure.

  • The steps required for dental implants typically include the following:
  • The removal of damaged or broken teeth to make way for the implants
  • Evaluation of the bone in the jaw and the grafting of bone tissue if it is necessary
  • Inserting the implant and allowing it to heal in place
  • Attaching the abutment to the implant and allowing it to heal
  • Attaching the artificial tooth to the abutment

When this process is complete, you can usually care for your new implant teeth as you would your own natural teeth. They can be brushed, flossed and cleaned in precisely the same way.

When Are Bone Grafts Necessary?

Dental conditions like gum disease can reduce the amount of viable bone in your jaw, which can make it more difficult to seat implants securely. If you have experienced bone loss in your jaw, bone grafts may be the most practical method for preparing your mouth for dental implants. This process may involve the harvesting of bone from another part of your own body or the use of a substitute material that is designed to encourage faster growth of bones in your jaw.

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

Dental implants usually require at least two surgical procedures:

  • Placing the dental implant post requires a small incision in the gums. Your dentist will then drill into the jaw to make a small hole into which the post or body of the implant will be inserted. Over time, it will heal in place, which will provide a secure attachment point for the other parts of the implant.
  • You will need another less-complicated surgery to open the gums and to attach the abutment to your implant post. This part of your procedure will require less time and may be combined with the initial implant of the post or the final step of attaching the dental appliance.

When both the post and the abutment have healed and are ready, your dentist will attach the artificial teeth to the implants. This will complete the process and will allow you to enjoy the confidence of having a beautiful and natural-looking smile.

After the Dental Implant Surgery

You may experience some amount of bruising, discomfort or pain after any part of your dental implant procedure. Our dental team and oral surgery experts can provide you with recommendations and medications to help you manage any pain and discomfort and allow you to get back to the things you enjoy.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer some important benefits for patients of our dental practice. Some of the most important of these include:

  • Dental implants and artificial teeth are more comfortable than removable dentures.
  • They require no adhesive to stay in place and will remain connected to your mouth and jaw.
  • The permanent nature of dental implants means that they cannot slip out of place, even when eating or speaking.
  • Dental implants are durable and reliable, providing you with the greatest confidence in your teeth and appearance.

Potential Drawbacks of Dental Implants

Cost is usually one of the primary concerns for our patients when planning to get dental implants. We will work with you to determine an affordable approach for paying for your new teeth to ensure a cost-effective solution.

Some of our patients also worry about the need for multiple surgeries to place the implant post and to complete the placement of the new teeth. Our dental experts will provide you with options that can make you feel more comfortable about undergoing dental surgery and the potential outcomes for your new dental implants.
How Our Dental Team Can Help

If you are seeking the most practical solutions for dental implants in our area, give our team a call today to discuss your requirements and to schedule a consultation. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Potomac

2010 Opitz Boulevard, # D, Woodbridge, VA 22191

(703) 595-2887