Dental Implants in Charlottesville Virginia

Dental implants offer patients the most technologically advanced tooth replacement available in modern dentistry. Because they outperform traditional appliances in so many ways, an increasing number of patients are turning to this treatment option as a solution for tooth loss.

If you are interested in exploring the many benefits of dental implants and determining whether they will be a good fit for you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our office. This is the first step on the path to restoring a complete and functional smile.

How Dental Implants Work

After our oral surgeon places a dental implant in a patient’s jaw, the implant eventually becomes a fixture in the jaw. This is possible because dental implants are small cylinders made of titanium, which is biocompatible. The bone tissue in the jaw can fuse with the titanium, rendering the dental implant a permanent part of the jaw’s structure.

Because dental implants become fixed in the jaw, they can function similarly to the root of a biological tooth, which secures the tooth’s crown and stabilizes the surrounding jawbone structure. Dental implants can do the same things, and as you will see below, this offers multiple benefits to patients.

When Dental Implants Can Be Used

Dental implants are versatile and can be used to restore smiles in virtually any tooth loss scenario. Dental implants can support:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dentures

The patient needs to have sufficient bone to support osseointegration, so Dr. Ibanez will thoroughly evaluate your case to see if bone loss might be a barrier to dental implant placement.

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Dental Implant Treatment: What to Expect

The placement of dental implants is an outpatient surgical procedure in which Dr. Ibanez will make a small incision into the jaw and create space for the implant’s insertion.

We use advanced three-dimensional imaging technology to plan the treatment, and specialized X-Guide™ Dynamic 3D Navigation software to direct us in the placement of the implants, resulting in a precise procedure.

Over the 6-8 months following implant placement, the dental implant will osseointegrate. Many patients will be able to wear a temporary prosthetic during this phase.

After osseointegration of the dental implant is complete, the patient will return for the second stage of treatment, in which Dr. Ibanez uncovers the implants and attach the small posts that secure the specially designed permanent prosthetic, which your restorative dentist will design for you and fit you with.

Dental implants graphic

Advantages Of Dental Implants

Because dental implants are structurally complete, they have several advantages over standard bridges and dentures, which lack such root-like structures. Dental implants are more:

  • Stable — Dental implants preserve jawbone integrity, so its contour won’t change and the supported prosthetic retains its fit.
  • Convenient — Dental implants typically require no more (or less) care than your biological smile.
  • Functional — Dental implants are far better at chewing because the bond between bone and implant allows them to tolerate strong forces needed to process fibrous foods.
  • Comfortable — The similarity between dental implants and biological teeth means that implants feel almost identical to biological teeth.

Maintaining Your Dental Implants

While dental implants are expected to last for decades after they are placed, any future episodes of gum disease or bone loss can threaten their longevity. Patients need to be diligent in maintaining their dental implants by protecting their oral health.

Fortunately, the actions needed to maintain dental implants are the same as those needed to keep a biological smile in good shape. They include:

  • Practicing good oral hygiene
  • Eating a nutritious diet with limited consumption of sweets
  • Visiting your dentist for exams and cleanings twice a year

We can also advise you of any additions to your oral hygiene regimen that will be particularly helpful in your case. When you take such good care of your dental implants, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come!

Common Dental Implants Questions

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is surgically placed into a patient’s jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. The titanium used in dental implants is biocompatible, which means that the surrounding jawbone tissue can form a strong, permanent bond with the implant, rendering it a fixture in the jaw. Dental implants are topped with a small post that secures a prosthetic crown or appliance.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

The most essential characteristic that determines whether a patient is a good candidate for dental implants is the quality of bone available at the proposed implant site. The patient must have enough bone tissue available to support complete osseointegration of the implant for the device’s long-term success. If there is not enough bone tissue, the patient may require preliminary bone grafting to supplement bone tissue at the implant site. We can advise you of the best course of action after evaluating your case.

How do implants prevent bone loss?

By acting as artificial tooth roots, dental implants help to anchor the bone tissue in the jaw in the same way that biological teeth do. In the absence of such an artificial root – as is the case with fixed dental bridges or conventional dentures – the bone tissue will wear away gradually. That process of jawbone atrophy can compromise surrounding teeth or cause the appliance to lose its fit over time.

How many teeth can be replaced with dental implants?

Dental implants can support any type of prosthetic – crown, bridge, or denture. Therefore, they can be used in virtually any tooth loss scenario, replacing a single tooth or the patient’s entire smile.

How much do implants cost?

The cost of dental implants varies from patient to patient. Several considerations will influence the cost, including preparation in the form of imaging and treatment planning, and any supplemental procedures that may be necessary. We can give you a more precise estimate of your costs after evaluating your case. Rest assured that our experienced billing staff will work diligently to maximize any insurance coverage that you may have for this treatment. We accept a variety of payment methods to help you fit any out-of-pocket costs into your budget.

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