Dental ImplantTysons, VA
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root that holds a dental restoration to replace a lost tooth or teeth. Teeth may be lost due to severe infection, gum disease, dental trauma, congenital disabilities, or extensive decay. People with missing teeth might find themselves hiding their smiles. As such, dental implant placement is categorized under restorative dentistry but is also a form of cosmetic dental treatment.
Missing teeth also compromise dental functions, making it harder to eat certain foods and contributing to secondary issues like malnutrition. Using an implant to support dental restorations ensures that people with missing teeth can once again enjoy the stability that comes with natural teeth and enjoy their favorite meals. A dental implant also stimulates the jawbone to avert bone loss and the resulting facial deterioration.
Patients need to consult with a general dentist to know if they are eligible for a dental implant. During the consultation appointment, the dentist will carefully examine the teeth, gums, and bone density. This may require performing X-rays and CT scans to ensure the patient has the adequate bone structure to support the implant and decide the placement position.
The general dentist will make a treatment recommendation depending on the patient’s oral cavity, health, oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and willingness to adhere to aftercare instructions. Patients with inadequate bone or gum tissue may need bone or tissue grafts and mini implants instead of regular ones.
The general dentist will let the patient know what to expect after each treatment, the number of appointments, and how long the procedure will take after assessing their situation. Any anesthetic options will also be discussed during the consultation if required. They will also discuss cost estimates of getting a dental implant, which typically depends on the number of missing teeth and whether supplementary procedures are needed.
Preparing for Treatment
The general dentist will first address any existing oral health issues before considering dental implant placement. Issues like gum disease can compromise the result of the treatment. The dentist will recommend that smokers quit the habit since smoking increases the risk of implant failure. Smoking can disrupt the osseointegration process, also known as the integration of the implant with the jawbone. Treatment will only start when the general dentist determines that the patient is healthy and in good shape.
Placing the Dental Implant
Dental implant restorations look like natural teeth — so much so that they are often hard to differentiate. The natural appearance is partly due to the structural fusion of the implant with living bone tissue. Dental implant placement is completed in one dental appointment, but osseointegration can take a few months.
Osseointegration is the anchorage of the implant to the jawbone. It can take between two to six months for an implant to fuse with the jawbone. After this, the general dentist can place a permanent crown, bridge, or denture restoration over the implant. The implant will fail if osseointegration does not happen.
Patients who have reached adolescence or have a fully-developed jawbone can undergo dental implant placement. Patients with certain health conditions like cancer, gum disease, or diabetes may require interventive procedures before proceeding with the treatment.
A dental implant placement typically involves:
A typical dental implant restoration refers to the titanium screw and the crown. The dentist will create a small hole where the tooth has been lost to position the titanium implant. Creating the hold demands great care and expertise to prevent damages to the jaw and facial structures like the inferior alveolar nerve. As such, the dentist may use surgical guides produced with CT scans to place the implants.
Once the pilot hole has been created in the proper location, the dentist will widen it carefully to accommodate the implant screw. Then, once the dental implant is in place, the dentist will cover it with surrounding gum tissue and place a protective cover to allow healing and osseointegration. After the jawbone heals (in a few months), the dentist will open the implant head to connect the abutment, which supports the crown or dental prosthetic.
Sometimes, the dentist may attach the abutment during implant placement. Once the abutment is in place, the dentist will produce a temporary or permanent crown. In some cases, the final dental crown can be produced on the day the abutment is attached. The temporary crown guides gum healing to ensure the result looks natural. A dental implant restoration is complete after the temporary crown is substituted with the permanent crown.
Recovery and Aftercare
Recovery after getting a dental implant depends on certain factors, including the procedures completed during the treatment. The bottom line is that once the implant is in place, patients need to maintain excellent oral health habits to ensure the implant integrations with the bone properly. Poor oral hygiene habits can cause the implants to fail.
Patients may develop an infection if the dental implant and nearby areas are not cleaned adequately. Smoking also contributes to implant failure and should be avoided after getting implants. If the dentist provided temporary restorations with the implants, they also need to be cleaned like natural teeth to maintain excellent oral health and ensure healing.
Minimal discomfort may occur after the implant placement surgery. Patients may experience gum or facial swelling, minor bleeding, and bruising around the implant site. The dentist will recommend pain medications to alleviate pain and discomfort. For about a week following the procedure, it is advisable to stick to a diet of soft foods. If self-dissolving stitches were not used, patients would need to return to the dental office to remove the stitches.
As mentioned earlier, healing after a dental implant placement can take between three to six months, with crown placement taking a few weeks. The timeline typically depends on the patient’s case and healing rate. The general dentist will arrange follow-up appointments to monitor healing progress. With adequate care, a dental implant can last a lifetime in the jawbone.
Call Us Today
A dental implant remains the best long-term option for replacing lost teeth. Dr.Kallas is ready to guide individuals through the process to help restore a broken or damaged smile. Call us today at (703) 828-0613 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Check out what others are saying about our Dental Implant services on Yelp: Dental Implant Tysons
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