Dental implants are an excellent option for individuals who have lost a tooth/teeth due to disease, injury, or other reasons. The root is replaced with the implant, and an artificial tooth (crown) is fixed to the implant. Dental implants also can be used to secure bridgework or even complete dentures.
At District Perio, we have experienced Washington, DC periodontists that will help you gain back your natural smile with a quality dental implant.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium post which is surgically placed into the jawbone in order to act as an anchor for a replacement tooth. The implant is designed to provide a strong and secure foundation for all sorts of prosthetics and restorations; this may include crowns, bridges, or full-arch prosthetics. The placement of the implant is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed in-office with little discomfort throughout recovery.
The entire dental implant is composed of three parts:
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Anyone who has lost a tooth or teeth is a candidate for dental implants. However, the ideal candidate will be healthy. Things like mismanaged diabetes, smoking, gum disease, and alcoholism may affect the ability of the implant to fuse to the bone. Our dentists and periodontists will work with you to ensure your gums and bones are healthy enough to receive the implant.
If the bone where the implant is to be placed has already receded, a bone graft may be performed to provide the volume needed for implant placement.
Benefits of an Implant Specialist
- Creates bone stability: When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone starts to break down—about a 25% overall decrease of bone mass within the first year after tooth loss. Implants can help prevent bone loss by stimulating the bone to help maintain its form and density.
- Provides comfort: Implants help give your entire mouth a better feel and function, allowing you to eat and speak more naturally. It feels just as natural as having your natural teeth.
- Restores self confidence: Implants stay in your mouth and function like a regular tooth. So you don’t have to take anything in and out, so you can eat, laugh, and smile without worry.
Types of Implants in Washington, DC
Several types of implants can be implemented for patients who have lost teeth:
- Single tooth replacement: A single dental implant is placed in the bone, and a crown is cemented to the implant, indistinguishable from your regular teeth.
- Multiple tooth replacement: Several implants are placed. After healing, various crowns or bridgework are attached to the implants.
- Total teeth replacement: Typically used for a fully supported bridge or complete denture. Two to six implants are ideal for a lower denture, and at least four can support an upper denture.
Dental Implant FAQs
The actual placement of the implant typically takes an hour, but it can be longer depending on the complexity of the case. The entire process from implant placement to restoration can take several months though, since healing time is required for successful integration of the implant.
A local anesthetic is used to numb the implant site, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. Afterward, you may experience some soreness or discomfort, but this can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Our team will provide you with detailed information about what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
With proper care and maintenance, your dental implant can last for a lifetime. The final restoration may need to be replaced after many years due to normal wear and tear.
Yes, dentures and bridges are both options. Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth with an artificial tooth and are cemented to the natural teeth that remain. A denture is a removable appliance that replaces all or some of your missing teeth. Both options offer a more affordable way to replace your teeth, but they don’t provide the stability and convenience that dental implants offer.
Cost is always a factor to consider when planning any procedure. While the cost of dental implants may seem high, they are an excellent long-term investment in your smile and overall oral health. We accept financing and can arrange payment plans to make the cost more manageable for our patients. We will provide a detailed estimate of your cost during your consultation; at that time, we will also discuss your options for financing.