Posts for tag: dental implants
Losing a tooth from disease or accident can be traumatic. The good news, though, is that it can be replaced with a life-like replica that restores your smile. One of the most popular and durable solutions is a dental implant, which replaces not only the root of the tooth but the crown as well.
But there's a possible wrinkle with implants — for accurate placement there must be a sufficient amount of bone around it. This could be a problem if you've been missing the tooth for sometime: without the stimulus provided by a tooth as you chew, older bone cells aren't replaced at an adequate rate. The bone volume gradually diminishes, as up to 25% of its normal width can be lost during the first year after tooth loss. A traumatic injury can damage underlying bone to an even greater extent.
There is a possible solution, but it will require the services of other specialists, particularly a periodontist trained in gum and bone structure. The first step is a complete examination of the mouth to gauge the true extent of any bone loss. While x-rays play a crucial role, a CT scan in particular provides a three-dimensional view of the jaw and more detail on any bone loss.
With a more accurate bone loss picture, we can then set about actually creating new bone through grafting procedures. One such technique is called a ridge augmentation: after opening the gum tissues, we place the bone graft within a barrier membrane to protect it. Over time the bone will grow replacing both the grafting material and membrane structure.
Once we have enough regenerated bone, we can then perform dental implant surgery. There are two options: a “one-stage” procedure in which a temporary crown is placed on the implant immediately after surgery; or a “two-stage” in which we place the gum tissue over the implant to protect it as it heals and bone grows and attaches to it. In cases of pre-surgical bone grafting, it's usually best to go with the two-stage procedure for maximum protection while the bone strengthens around it.
Necessary preparation of the bone for a future dental implant takes time. But the extra effort will pay off with a new smile you'll be proud to display.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, you’re in good company. Dentists have placed more than 3 million of these popular devices since their introduction in the early 1980s.
But if you have multiple missing teeth, you might think the cost of all those individual implants could put them out of your league. Yes, replacing multiple teeth with individual implants can be quite expensive—but implant technology isn’t limited to one tooth at a time. A few well-placed implants can impart their proven durability and stability to other types of restorations.
For example, we can incorporate implants into a bridge for a series of missing teeth. Conventional bridges are normally fixed in place by altering and then crowning natural teeth on each side of the missing teeth gap with a fixed row of prosthetic (false) teeth in the middle to fill it. Instead, two implants placed at the ends of the gap can support the bridge rather than natural teeth. This not only provides greater stability for the bridge, it also avoids permanent altering the natural teeth that would have been used.
Implants can also support a fixed bridge to restore complete tooth loss on a jaw. The new bridge is attached to a few strategically placed implants along the jaw line to equally distribute biting forces. This can result in a strong hold with excellent durability.
We can also use implants to improve traditional dentures. Dentures normally rest directly on the gums’ bony ridges, depending on a snug fit for stability. But bone loss, a natural consequence of missing teeth, can still occur while wearing dentures, which may in fact accelerate the rate of loss due to the appliance’s constant pressure and friction against the gums.
Instead, just a few implants placed along the jaw can, with attachments built into the denture, hold it securely in place. This not only decreases the pressure on the gums, but the natural bone growth that occurs around the implant may even deter bone loss.
Depending on your situation, there could be a viable restoration solution involving implants. Visit our office for a complete examination and evaluation to see if implants could help change your smile forever.
If you would like more information on implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants 101: the Most Significant Innovation in the Past Century.”
Do you think your smile is too damaged to retrieve? Do you think you'll never speak or eat normally again because of large smile gaps? Don't despair but have hope in the innovative dental prosthetics delivered by the five caring dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry. With their precise dental implants placed right at their Woodbridge, VA office, your smile can return to natural-looking appearance and excellent functionality. Read the details here on these amazing artificial teeth.
What is a dental implant?
The single-tooth implant has helped more than three million people to date, says the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and more are added to that number each year. So what's the big deal about a dental implant in Woodbridge, VA and why is it a better choice than traditional bridgework or partial dentures?
The answer lies in the amazing strength and realism of this artificial tooth. Made of three distinct parts (a titanium implant screw, a metal alloy extension post and a beautiful porcelain crown), a dental implant resides in the patient's jaw bone below the gum line. After insertion during a simple oral surgery at Mapledale Family Dentistry, the implant screw and bone bond through a natural process called osseointegration.
Because of osseointegration, the dental implant strengthens over time. Gum tissue and bone actually exercise as the patient bites and chews, avoiding the deterioration which happens after tooth loss.
What if a patient has big gaps?
The dentist in Woodbridge, VA evaluates each prospective implant patient carefully, ensuring he or she has enough jaw bone to accept an implant and is healthy enough overall, too. If more than one--or even all--teeth have been lost, the dentist may recommend bridgework or full dentures as needed. Multiple implants support these prosthetics, allowing the patient normal oral function, great smile aesthetics and ease of care, too.
No longer does a partially or fully edentulous patient need to use messy denture adhesives or soak his or her prosthetic overnight. Following American Dental Association guidelines, the individual brushes twice a day and flosses once a day carefully around the implant or implants. Good oral hygiene keeps implant sites free of harmful plaque and tartar and avoids the biggest enemy of dental implants--peri-implantitis. This is a devastating infection very similar to periodontitis, or advanced gum disease.
Complete your smile
See if dental implants could help your gapped smile. Contact Mapledale Family Dentistry for an implant consultation with one of our highly skilled and caring dentists. They will tailor a treatment plan uniquely suited to your needs. Please call our office today for your appointment: (703) 580-9900.
Most children's permanent teeth erupt on a fairly predictable schedule. Sometimes, though, one or more teeth might not develop as they should — or at all.
These absent teeth pose functional problems for chewing and hygiene, which can affect long-term dental health. But they can also have a disruptive effect on an otherwise attractive smile if the missing teeth are the upper lateral incisors in the most visible part of the smile.
You normally find this pair of teeth on either side of the upper central incisors (the two front-most teeth). On the other side of the lateral incisors are the canine or eye teeth, known for their pointed appearance. Without the lateral incisors, the canines tend to drift into the space next to the central incisors. This can produce an odd appearance even a layperson will notice: only four teeth where there should be six!
It's possible to correct this abnormality, but it will take time and expense. The first step is usually to move the teeth in the upper jaw with braces to their correct position. This puts teeth where they should be and also opens space between the canines and central incisors so we can eventually replace the missing teeth with dental implants.
But the key to all this is timing. It's usually appropriate to undertake tooth movement with braces during late childhood or adolescence. But implants shouldn't be installed until the person's jaw fully matures, usually in early adulthood. An implant placed before then could eventually become misaligned.
To accommodate the time between bite correction and implant placement, the patient can wear a retainer appliance that will keep the newly created space open. We can also attach artificial teeth to the retainer to camouflage the empty space.
It usually takes a team of a family dentist, an orthodontist and a surgeon to see this kind of “smile makeover” project through, possibly over several years. But the gains in better aesthetics and health are well worth the time and expense.
If you would like more information on replacing non-developing teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Don't Grow.”
Are you ready to learn more about this long-term replacement for your missing teeth?
Did you just lose a permanent tooth? If so, more than likely you are looking for a restoration that will be able to replace your tooth for the long-term. If so, our Woodbridge, VA, family dentists have the answer you’ve been looking for. Dental implants have replaced millions of teeth and could give you back the smile you want.
What are dental implants?
Perhaps you’ve heard about them or know someone who has them. Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to a real tooth. While nothing is as great as maintaining healthy natural teeth, if you are faced with tooth loss then the best option for getting a long-term replacement is dental implants. These small metal posts are designed to function like tooth roots. When the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone it naturally fuses together with bone and tissue to become a permanent part of your mouth.
How does the dental implant fuse together with the jawbone?
While it will take several months for this to occur, this process is what makes implants so successful and long lasting. This naturally occurring phenomenon in which the implant fuses together with the jawbone is known as osseointegration.
Implants are made from biocompatible metals like titanium. Since the implant is made from this unique metal it means that the body won’t reject it as a foreign object. In fact, it will treat it like it’s just like any other part of the mouth and begin to bond with it. Once the implant has fused together with the bone and tissue, you could just have an implant for the rest of your life.
How do I get dental implants?
If you want to get dental implants to replace your missing tooth or teeth, the first step is to visit our Woodbridge dentists for a consultation. By examining your mouth and talking about your treatment goals we can determine whether or not this is the right option for you. From there, we will need to place the implant.
Once the implant has been placed and the gums have been stitched back up we will allow the implant time to bond with the bone and tissue. Once this is complete, we will place an abutment over the top of the implant.
An abutment is used to connect the implant and the false tooth, which will sit above the gums. If we only need to replace one tooth, then a dental crown will be cemented or attached to the implant. If you are replacing multiple teeth then we will determine whether a dental bridge or other option is better fitted to your needs.
Mapledale Family Dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, prides itself on offering the very best in restorative dentistry. If you have questions about dental implants or want to find out if you are a good candidate, then call us today!