Do you have an all-too-obvious gap in your smile from a missing tooth? That gap is more than a cosmetic problem. Missing teeth can often lead to other oral health problems, malnutrition, and even social anxiety. Whether you have lost teeth due to decay, gum disease, or injury, replacing them is a must. Dental implants in Virginia Beach can permanently fill in the spaces caused by trauma or disease, helping a patient reclaim their complete smile. Contact Smile by Design of Virginia Beach today to learn more about the unique benefits of dental implants!
Most tooth replacements, like dental bridges and dentures, only bring back the part of the tooth that you can see – its crown. But most of the tooth – its root – is actually hidden beneath the gums. Dental implants are the only option that replaces the root as well as the crown of a missing tooth. The implant itself is a titanium post that is inserted directly into the jawbone, bonding to it through a process called osseointegration. This creates a strong foundation for us to secure a dental crown, bridge, or denture on top via a metal abutment.
By rebuilding your teeth from the roots up, you end up with a solution that looks and feels so natural, you might forget that you even lost teeth in the first place!
While dental implants are designed to replace teeth and remain healthy for decades at a time, there is a dedicated process that works to ensure the most successful tooth replacement possible. Before you can begin treatment, you’ll have a chance to speak with our dentists and ask any questions that you have. In the meantime, you can read more about the tooth replacement process ahead of your next appointment. Give Smile by Design of Virginia Beach a call to set up your next consultation!
During your first appointment for dental implants, one of our dentists will sit down with you to discuss your specific needs. Not only does this give our team a chance to confirm specific aspects of your care, (i.e. how many teeth you need to replaced, which ones, etc.) but whether or not you are eligible to receive dental implants in the first place. For example, if you need preparatory treatments to receive dental implants, such as gum therapy or bone grafts, we’ll be able to determine that during the earliest phases of the planning process.
One of the dentists at Smile by Design of Virginia Beach will refer you to a specialist for the initial phase of your dental implant procedure. During minor oral surgery, this specialist will administer local anesthetic to remove any sensations during treatment. Then, they make a small incision in your gum tissue in order to insert a small titanium post into the bone. This ensures that your new tooth is as strong as the teeth you already have. Finally, the gum tissue is stitched closed and given time to heal.
The beauty of a dental implant is that this post mimics the form and purpose of a natural tooth root. As you heal from your surgery, the post and surrounding bone tissue fuse together to create a firm anchor for the tooth restoration that will eventually be attached to the implant. This fusion process is known as osseointegration and it is the foundation for your long-term tooth replacement. Moreover, the implant ensures that your jaw remains healthy by stimulating it to generate new bone cells. This also prevents the jawbone from breaking down and changing shape, a common side effect of tooth loss.
Once the implant has fully fused, you’ll go back to the specialist to have the abutment placed. After reopening your gum tissue, this metal connector is attached to the implant so the future restoration can be placed.
Once enough time has passed and your bone tissue has successfully joined with the post, your Smile by Design of Virginia Beach dentist will be able to attach your permanent new crown, bridge, or denture, which was handcrafted to match your other teeth in size and color. That way, no one but you and our office will know you even had teeth replaced to begin with! If you’d like to whiten your other teeth before your crown is attached, we have Zoom! whitening available to remove stains on your teeth.
Dental implants are unique because they are the only tooth replacement that restores an entire tooth both above and below the gum line. Traditional dentures and bridges only bring back the crown of a tooth, not the root, which makes them much more unstable. With dental implants, a titanium prosthetic root is placed directly into the jawbone, and this is used to support a restoration that shows in the smile. This not only makes implants extremely secure, but it also means they don’t require support from the surrounding teeth and gums, which is a common cause of discomfort with other replacements. In fact, dental implants in Virginia Beach can potentially change your life in many important ways that other options like dentures and dental bridges simply can’t!
There are plenty of reasons why dental implants are becoming more and more popular every year! If you have more questions about how dental implants can potentially change your life, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
So long as you’re missing teeth, you’ll likely qualify for dental implants. A good treatment candidate doesn’t need much more than that. Still, you’ll only confirm candidacy by visiting a dental implant dentist in Virginia Beach. Luckily enough, though, the dentists of Smile by Design are happy to help. They’ll assess your qualifications based on your particular situation. If you’d like to know how that’ll work, just keep reading or call us for the details.
To be clear, our practice will determine your candidacy at the consultation. This visit lets us perform an oral exam to see if you have certain qualifying factors. The most common of these elements include:
Should you not be a good candidate now, you can qualify for implants later. Just get preliminary work like tooth extractions, gum disease therapy, or bone grafting. From there, you’ll have the necessary support to handle implants based on how many teeth you lack.
If you only lack one tooth, a single implant post and crown is the best option. The implant can be attached to an all-porcelain crown using an abutment. The result would be a new, free-standing tooth that doesn’t “lean” on other teeth to stay in place. It thus doesn’t require any enamel to be removed.
Given an implant’s security and stability, patients can enjoy a tooth that works seamlessly with the rest of their smile.
Are you missing more than one tooth in a row? In that case, two implants fused to a pontic can replace the missing teeth, as well as support the surrounding ones. The resulting device – an implant bridge – would then seamlessly fill the gap.
Notably, an implant bridge is much more cost-effective than replacing each tooth with an individual implant. Furthermore, it’s much more natural-looking and stable than a traditional one.
Perhaps you’re missing a large number of teeth, or maybe contend with an ill-fitting denture slipping out of place. If so, you should seriously consider implant dentures.
Implant dentures secure directly to the jawbone with implants, making them far more stable than other prosthetics. Plus, these dentures can restore an entire arch of teeth in just one visit. All it takes is the patented All-on-4 procedure and you’ll have a full smile again.
Want to know more about dental implants in Virginia Beach? We understand! At Smile by Design of Virginia Beach, we know that implants are a big decision, so we’ve included answers to several FAQs below. But if you have any additional questions that aren’t included here, you can always contact us at any time!
Absolutely. Countless studies have shown that dental implants are a safe, reliable way to replace missing teeth. In fact, the surgical-grade titanium used for dental implants is the same material that’s been used in knee and hip replacements for many years.
Thankfully, with a success rate of up to 98%, dental implants don’t fail very often. However, as a dentist in Virginia Beach, we always inform our patients of the following common risk factors:
Dental implants need adequate amounts of healthy jawbone for support, but when the natural teeth are extracted, the jawbone slowly begins to “shrink.” In some cases, when patients have been missing their teeth for quite some time, their jawbone is too thin or too weak to anchor an implant. A bone graft strengthens and fortifies the bone to prepare it for implant surgery.
To determine whether you need this procedure, the specialist who performs your implant surgery will start by taking detailed, 3-dimensional images of your teeth and jaws so they can recommend a bone graft if necessary.
It may surprise you, but many people say that their implant surgery was no more uncomfortable than having an extraction. Also, rest assured that the specialist who performs the procedure has completed many years of advanced training after dental school so they can make the procedure comfortable for everyone. In addition to making sure you’re fully numb before starting, they’ll also offer multiple sedation options.
You can expect mild to moderate swelling and tenderness in the gum tissue around the implant for several days, and most of the healing will occur in 5-7 days. Many of our patients say that their pain was very manageable, but we still recommend that you take 2-3 days off to rest. Your surgeon will discuss options for pain medication and give you detailed instructions for caring for the area during your recovery period.
Dental implants have the potential to rebuild your smile for a lifetime, but only if you take care of them properly! Thankfully, keeping your dental implants strong, sparkling, and firmly in place is no more difficult than taking care of your regular teeth—no soaking or special cleaning products required! Read on as we go over the five best ways to make sure your dental implants last for many decades to come.
Dental implants can’t get cavities like natural teeth, but you still need to practice good oral hygiene. If you don’t, plaque and bacteria will build up in your mouth and attack the tissues that help hold your dental implant in place, potentially causing it to fail. So make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily!
With 80% or more restored biting power, dental implants can help you enjoy all your favorite foods again, like apples, nuts, and steak. However, you should still avoid chewing on bones, shells, pits, or ice to keep your restorations strong. Instead, make sure to eat and drink plenty of items that contain vitamin C and calcium. The vitamin C will help keep the gums around your dental implant strong and calcium will fortify your jawbone.
While healthy habits can help your dental implants last a lifetime, just a few bad habits can dramatically increase your risk of dental implant failure. If you get dental implants, you should:
A sudden blow to the face while playing sports can potentially knock your implant loose. Grinding your teeth in your sleep put excess pressure on your implant and can potentially damage it. That’s why it’s essential you protect your dental implants with a mouthguard. We offer custom-made athletic sports mouthguards and nightguards for bruxism to keep your smile safe on the field and in your sleep.
Whether you’ve had one tooth replaced by a dental implant or an entire arch, you should come visit us every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. We’ll clean your teeth and implant carefully and monitor their integrity. If any warning signs of issues are detected, we’ll be able to begin treatment right away before they cause you or your implant unnecessary problems.