Dental implants are the gold standard for replacement of missing or non-salvageable teeth. Dental implants provide the most physiologic option of replacing teeth by maintaining bone volume, avoiding cutting of adjacent teeth (fixed bridge), and authentic look and feel of natural teeth. For those who have lost the ability to eat certain types of food, dental implants allow patients to regain this ability as well as confidence in their smile.
Dental implants are composed of titanium, zirconium, or combination titanium/zirconium screws that are surgically placed in the jawbone where the teeth are missing. This metal anchor acts as tooth root substitute which becomes the supporting foundation or base of the crown (visible part of the tooth). After the implant has healed or bonded to the bone, a small post (or abutment) that protrudes through the gum is connected to the implant thus providing stable connectors for artificial teeth replacement.
For more information about dental implants we recommend visiting The Dental Implant Guide
Patients who opt for dental implants generally undergo just one surgical procedure. The implant is placed into the healed or reconstructed bone (delayed placement) or fresh socket (immediate placement) and a healing cover is placed. If there are minor bone defects or significant socket gaps, bone grafting is done simultaneously. There are times when immediate placement after extraction cannot be done due to infection or other reasons. The implant will be placed at least 2 weeks (delayed immediate placement) to 4 months (delayed placement) later.
After a minimum of 4 weeks, the implants are ready for placement of the final restoration by the restoring dentist. When indicated, a temporary prosthesis can be attached to the implants immediately after placement (“teeth in a day”).
Using the most advanced technology, our surgeons are able to place implants with accuracy and minimal surgical intervention. Our Arlington and Gainesville offices offer Cone Beam CT imaging using iCAT to determine the bone anatomy, quantity and quality as well as providing accurate localization of vital structures such as sinuses, nerves, and roots of adjacent teeth. This technology also allows us to place implants with minimal flap elevation by using CT guided surgical placement.
For dental implant placement, your restorative dentist or prosthodontist collaborates with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Our surgeons perform the initial tooth extractions, implant surgery, and bone grafting. The restorative dentist (your dentist) or prosthodontist (specialist) will fabricate the permanent prosthesis or any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces two or more teeth that may need only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending on which kind of prosthesis is needed. There is also a removable prosthesis (overdenture) which snaps on to stable anchors directly connected to each of the implants (locator abutments) or connected to all implants (bar attachment).
Dental implants create a better way of living as well as a restoration of a better you! They are an effective solution for replacement of missing teeth as well as a great contribution towards self-esteem. Dental implants also preserve facial structure and prevent bone deterioration.
When it comes to having naturally good teeth, why sacrifice their good structure to bridge a space? Traditional dentures that you can remove may be seen as inconvenient as well as embarrassing if they are noticed.
If you are considering dental implants, make an appointment with our surgeons at NOVA Surgical Arts in Gainsville, VA or Arlington, VA for a comprehensive evaluation. During your consultation, we will review your medical and dental history to determine if you are an eligible candidate. As part of your consultation, alternative treatments will also be discussed to help you make an informed decision about the treatment.
We offer local anesthesia to intravenous general anesthesia for our patients. Your surgeon will discuss which option is right for you.
Implants will have a long lifespan if you take care of them like your natural teeth. Since they are made of metal, they will never decay. Keeping your gums healthy will keep the supporting bone healthy. If the bone is healthy, the implant can be expected to last longer than any tooth replacement option and likely last a lifetime. Home dental hygiene (brushing and flossing) and regular appointments with your dentist are very important.
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