What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants closely mimic the structure, function, and appearance of natural teeth. If you have missing or severely damaged teeth, dental implants can provide an ideal replacement option that restores the health and beauty of your smile. The stability and reliability dental implants can provide is unparalleled when compared to other methods of tooth replacement. Ideally, the implanted titanium post provides a fixed, long-lasting foundation for durable, natural-looking tooth restorations. Depending on your needs and goals, Dr. Jeff Blackburn can design custom single crown restorations, bridges, or secured dentures that complete your smile with beautiful results.
To learn more about dental implants, we encourage you to read through the information we have provided and contact South River Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Blackburn.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Blackburn.
- Dental Implant Benefits
- Dental Implant Candidates
- Types of Dental Implants
- Dental Implant Procedure
- Dental Implant Results
- Dental Implant Cost
- Dental Implant Alternatives
- Choosing the Best Implant Dentist
Benefits of Dental Implants
As the most innovative option for tooth replacement, dental implants offer several significant advantages:
- Implants can stimulate jawbone tissue, which maintains healthy bone density.
- Restorations are designed to be secure and to provide a very natural fit.
- Healthy surrounding teeth can be better preserved and maintained.
- Implant-secured restorations can be comfortable and may not interfere with speech and chewing.
- Replacement teeth are designed to suit your smile.
- Replacing several missing teeth with dental implants can restore a more youthful face shape and proper bite.
Candidates For Dental Implants
Ideal candidates for dental implants are healthy enough to safely undergo implantation and heal properly after surgery. In addition, you must have good dental and gingival (gum) health to prevent the spread of disease and facilitate healing. Finally, there must be adequate jawbone density in the area where the implant is to be placed in order to provide support and stability. If you do not meet these requirements at first, dental treatments, periodontal care, and/or bone grafts can prepare you for dental implants.
TYPES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
No matter the extent of restoration you require, dental implants can serve as a dependable tooth replacement for individual missing teeth, multiple consecutive teeth, or an entire dental arch. Depending on your needs and the state of your jawbone health, your dental implant options include:
SINGLE TOOTH IMPLANTS
Single tooth implants can replace individual missing or extracted teeth beautifully, often requiring less bone density to support implantation than a multi-tooth restoration. Treatment involves insertion of a lone dental implant into the gumline, on top of which a custom-made CEREC® crown can act as an indistinguishable tooth replacement. The crown is crafted to match the shade and proportions of adjacent teeth for a natural-looking result.
MULTIPLE TEETH IMPLANTS
Dental implants can also be an excellent way to restore three or more consecutive missing, weakened, or decayed teeth. Using two or more implants that are secured to the jawbone, a specially fabricated dental bridge is affixed, filling the entirety of the absent space. This can provide a greater level of stability for the prosthesis when compared to a bridge attached with dental crowns, and also usually fosters a healthier bone structure. In the event that a compromised tooth requires extraction, this can typically be completed at the same time as implantation, as long as there are no infections in the root of the tooth.
For individuals with the necessary bone density, implant dentures can be a reliable solution to recover an upper and/or lower dental arch and rehabilitate your smile. These anchored restorations can eliminate many of the inconveniences presented by dentures that are attached with pastes or adhesives, such as gum slippage, an uncomfortable fit, and difficulty chewing tough or hard foods. Implant-supported dentures typically require anywhere from four to six implants to affix the custom-designed prosthesis. After treatment, patients usually enjoy an increased level of confidence when eating, speaking, and chewing, as well as the ability to eat a wider range of foods.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To begin the process, Dr. Blackburn will take X-rays and impressions of your mouth to evaluate bone density and spacing left behind by the missing tooth (or teeth). The images and models will be used to establish your treatment strategy and plan the details of your implant surgery.
Depending on the complexity of the case, either Dr. Jeff Blackburn or a trusted outside specialist may perform the surgical implantation. While you are anesthetized, your doctor will implant the artificial titanium post within the jawbone. The artificial root is then allowed to heal for about six months topped with a temporary restoration, until the implant has fused with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. At this stage, Dr. Blackburn will take impressions once again to design your custom restorations. When the restorations are crafted, the fasteners (abutments) and replacement teeth can be securely placed to complete your smile.
Dental Implants Results
When placed correctly within strong bone and a disease-free mouth, dental implants can provide a long-lasting, secure replacement for missing teeth. In addition to enjoying a full set of teeth that can look, feel, and function just like natural teeth, you may also experience a boost in confidence as a result of your new smile. Caring for your dental implants is no different from the dental hygiene required for natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings can keep your implants in good shape long into the future.
HOW MUCH DO DENTAL IMPLANTS COST?
As advanced tooth replacements that can benefit the health, beauty, and function of your oral structures, many patients consider dental implants a worthwhile investment into their smile. The cost of dental implants is heavily dependent on the details specific to your treatment plan, such as:
- The number of dental implants required to achieve your desired restoration
- The location of the implants
- The type of restoration and materials used
- Whether adjunctive procedures were performed in conjunction with dental implants, such as bone grafting, tooth extractions, or periodontal treatment
- The overall complexity of the procedure
The geographic location where the procedure is performed as well as the expertise of your dentist also generally influences the cost of treatment. With this is mind, patient reviews from RealSelf.com place the average price of a dental implant, abutment and crown in Virginia at approximately $4,450. While this can serve as a rough estimate, rest assured that our office will provide you with a personalized quote of your unique treatment at the time of consultation. We accept all major modes of payment and a number of insurance plans to accommodate all of our patients’ diverse needs. Additionally, our practice works with CareCredit®, a premier dental financing option that offers many flexible payment plans with low monthly installments for qualified applicants. For any other questions you may have about the cost of dental implants, or to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact South River Dentistry today to speak to a member of our team.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Implants?
While considered the most enduring restorations, dental implants are not the only treatment to replace a missing or damaged tooth. A dental bridge can be a less invasive option than dental implants that still recovers proper biting function and provides a natural-looking result. Custom-made to match the shade of your smile, a dental bridge is attached to healthy enamel adjacent to the gap left by your missing teeth. As they are secured by existing teeth and do not require support from your jawbone to stay anchored, there is no need for oral surgery when placing dental bridges. Depending on your treatment goals, they can be an effective restoration to replace one tooth or several consecutive teeth.
Dr. Blackburn also offers dentures and partial dentures to replace a missing section of teeth or an entire dental arch. For patients who may lack the necessary bone structure for implant dentures, these restorations can rebuild your smile while improving your ability to speak and chew. Through multiple fittings, the prosthesis is crafted to appear naturally and harmoniously within your smile. Plus, dentures can offer benefits to your oral health by slowing bone loss and preventing the shifting of surrounding teeth.
Choosing an Implant Dentist
The process of replacing missing teeth with dental implants is a multi-stage procedure that requires the experience of a qualified dentist or implant specialist. Dr. Blackburn often works with a team of periodontists and oral surgeons throughout the treatment process to ensure that implant patients receive the highest standard of care and quality of results. To help you find an implant dentist that is well-equipped to achieve a beautiful and natural-looking restoration for your needs, we have compiled a few tips to guide your research:
- Learn about their training and educational background. With most dentists’ biographies available online, you can typically gauge his or her level of experience by finding out where they received their training, how long they have been in private practice, and whether they are part of any professional memberships or participate in ongoing education.
- Ask how often your prospective dentist places dental implants. In general, the more frequently a dentist performs dental implant treatment, the greater familiarity they may have with the process— this experience can increase their ability to achieve the results you desire and allow them to react quickly if a complication arises.
- Read patient reviews to learn about the practice. Find out what type of care you can expect to receive from a dentist, or their practice, by looking through online patient reviews. Ratings from Facebook, Google, and Realself can give you a comprehensive idea of a dentist’s reputation, as well as previous patients’ satisfaction after treatment.
- See before-and-after photos. Explore a prospective dentist’s smile gallery to see what can be achieved with dental implants. If the results align with your expectations for treatment, they can be a likely indication of the potential final outcome.
For more information about the dental implant process, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeff Blackburn or Dr. Chang (Kevin) Hun Lee, please contact our practice.