Posts for: May, 2018
Repairing your smile and replacing your missing teeth can benefit your teeth both aesthetically and functionally. However, many people are not aware of a permanent solution to a missing tooth, a restorative dental procedure called a dental implant. Are you a candidate for dental implants? Can you benefit from this procedure? Find out with Dr. Mary Gregory in Arlington, VA.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a dental restoration which replaces a missing tooth. The implant has three main parts: the fixture, the abutment, and the prosthetic. The fixture is a small, post-like titanium piece which your dentist surgically implants into the bone under your missing tooth, essentially replacing your tooth’s root. The prosthetic is the replacement tooth itself, normally a porcelain dental crown or bridge, which fits onto the fixture via the abutment, a small piece which connects the two main implant parts.
Can dental implants help me?
Dental implants replace one missing tooth, several missing teeth, or an arch of missing teeth. Implants stand alone and do not require the help of healthy teeth surrounding the gap to stay in place. This means that, for example, a dental implant can replace a single tooth on one side of your mouth and several teeth on the other. However, missing teeth cause bone atrophy, which causes the bone to degrade and break down over time. Implants require a solid foundation to stay in place, meaning that patients with significant bone atrophy may not be suitable for a dental implant. Though it is rare, a dental implant can reject due to poor oral hygiene. This makes a strong at-home daily oral care routine crucial to the life of your implants.
What can I expect from a dental implant procedure?
The procedure requires that you have several visits with your dentist and undergo an oral surgery to place the implant’s fixtures. A dental laboratory will customize your prosthetic teeth for your mouth to ensure that your new teeth fit seamlessly into your smile, from their shape to their length to their color. Your dentist will first place the implant’s fixture into the jawbone. The mouth then requires several months to heal. During the healing process, the bone grows around the fixture to anchor it into place. After your implant sites are fully healed, your dentist will attach the prosthetic teeth to the fixture using an abutment.
Dental Implants in Arlington, VA
Your journey to a new, full smile could be a simple phone call away. For more information on dental implants or how they can change your smile for good, please contact Dr. Gregory in Arlington, VA. Call 703-527-6495 to schedule your appointment today!