Dental Implants Sterling, VA
A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO TOOTH REPLACEMENT
If you are missing teeth, dental implants could change your life. These small, biocompatible posts are inserted directly into the upper or lower jaw, and they can support a permanent crown, bridge, or denture. E. Richard Hughes, DDS is an expert on dental implants. He will make sure your implants are optimally placed and restored, and he can provide outstanding results efficiently and affordably. To learn more about how you can benefit from an implant procedure, make an appointment at our Loudoun County office in Sterling today.
Dental Implant Candidacy
Determining candidacy for dental implants is a critical step in the implant treatment process. Not everyone may be an ideal candidate as certain factors need to be considered. The criteria used to assess whether a person is a suitable candidate for dental implants includes: overall oral health, bone density, and gum condition.
Overall Oral Health:
Before starting the implant procedure, candidates should have a healthy oral environment free from severe gum disease, untreated tooth decay, or active infections. Dental implants require a solid foundation, making it essential to address any existing dental issues before proceeding with implant placement.
Sufficient bone density is crucial for the successful placement and long-term stability of dental implants. The jawbone serves as the anchor for the implants. During the evaluation process, Dr. Hughes will assess the bone density in the implant site. If the patient has experienced jawbone loss due to factors such as tooth loss or periodontal disease, additional procedures like bone grafting may be necessary to enhance bone volume and provide a suitable foundation.
Healthy gums are vital for dental implant success. The gums should be free from inflammation, infection, or periodontal disease. The presence of gum disease can weaken the supporting structures around the teeth increasing the risk of implant failure. Dr. Hughes will evaluate the gum condition, checking for signs of gum disease and ensuring that the gum tissue is healthy and capable of supporting the dental implants.
Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can influence dental implant candidacy. For instance, uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or compromised immune systems may impact the healing process and the long-term success of dental implants. Additionally, habits such as smoking can impede healing and increase the risk of implant failure. Our Sterling, Virginia practice will review each patient’s medical history and discuss any relevant factors that may affect candidacy.
If you are a good candidate for an implant procedure, Dr. Hughes will ensure that you understand all aspects of your dental implant surgery. This will include a discussion of you budget, as well as the benefits and risks of dental implants. Before placing dental implants, Dr. Hughes will take digital x-rays of your jaw, allowing him to assess the amount of bone tissue present. Jawbone atrophy (shrinkage) occurs in the absence of tooth roots, and can compromise your candidacy. If necessary, Dr. Hughes can perform a bone graft to restore lost bone tissue and create a viable foundation. We can also incorporate dental implants into a full mouth reconstruction, completely restoring the form and function of your smile.
Your x-rays will also reveal the proximity of your sinuses to your upper jaws. If the sinuses lay too close to the optimal implant site, Dr. Hughes can perform a sinus lift. This involves augmenting the upper jaw with additional bone tissue and lifting the sinus membranes to avoid any complications.
Placing Dental Implants
Placing traditional dental implants requires two surgeries. During the first surgery, Dr. Hughes creates an incision in the gums and drills a small pilot hole into the jaw bone. Next, he inserts the implant. Dr. Hughes proudly uses ramus blade implants. Their unique shape impacts the structure of the upper and lower jaw less, meaning you may not require a bone graft even if you have suffered some degree of jawbone atrophy. After inserting the implant, Dr. Hughes will suture the gums closed.
Over the next four to six months, the jawbone will become fused to the implant. When this process is complete, the posts will have become a permanent, stable part of your oral structure. During a second surgery, Dr. Hughes will attach abutment pieces to the implants. These serve as connection points with your restorations. Dr. Hughes will attach temporary restorations to your abutments while our laboratory crates your permanent crown, bridge, or denture. He offers state-of-the-art restorations, including zirconium bridges, for the most lifelike results.
In some cases, Dr. Hughes can use mini-implants to provide same-day restorations. Some patients may also qualify for a minimally invasive technique called All-on-4® implant procedure which uses just four dental implants to secure an entire denture. The dentist will determine your candidacy for this method and same-day implants at your initial consultation.
Aftercare and Maintenance of Dental Implants
By following proper oral hygiene practices and regularly visiting our Sterling, VA practice, you can protect your investment and enjoy the benefits of dental implants for many years to come.
Oral Hygiene Practices:
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial for the health of your dental implants. Here are some practices to incorporate into your daily routine:
- Interdental Brushes
- Antimicrobial Mouthwash
Regular Dental Visits:
Maintaining regular dental check-ups is vital for monitoring the health of your dental implants. Here’s what you can expect during your dental visits:
- Professional Cleaning
- Dental Examination
- Professional Advice
Certain habits and lifestyle choices can impact the health and longevity of your dental implants. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Avoid Smoking
- Dietary Habits
- Avoid Teeth Grinding
Remember, proper aftercare and maintenance are essential for the longevity and success of your implants. By following these guidelines and staying committed to your dental health, you can enjoy a beautiful, functional smile that lasts a lifetime. If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your dental implants, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Hughes and his staff in Sterling, Virginia for professional guidance and a free consultation.
What are the Downfalls of Dental Implants?
Cost: Dental implants tend to be more expensive upfront compared to other tooth replacement options like dentures or bridges. The cost can include the surgical procedure, the implant itself, the abutment (connector), and the crown that goes on top of the implant.
Surgical Procedure: The placement involves a surgical procedure that can lead to potential risks, including infection, nerve damage, and complications related to anesthesia. Additionally, some patients might experience discomfort or swelling during the recovery period.
Healing Time: After placed, there’s a healing period during which the implant fuses with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This can take several months, during which the patient might need to follow certain dietary restrictions and avoid putting excessive pressure on the surgery site.
Bone Loss and Resorption: When a tooth is lost, the bone that used to support it can start to deteriorate over time. While dental implants can help stimulate the bone and prevent some degree of bone loss, they might not completely eliminate this issue.
Sensitivity: Some patients might experience increased sensitivity around the surgery site, especially when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.
Infection Risk: As with any surgical procedure, there’s a risk of infection. While this risk is generally low, if an infection does occur, it might require the removal to effectively treat the infection.
Maintenance: While implants don’t require special cleaning like traditional dentures, they do require proper oral hygiene practices to ensure their longevity. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are still important.
Adjacent Teeth Impact: In some cases, placement might require altering or affecting adjacent healthy teeth, which can be a concern for some patients.
Smoking and Health Conditions: Smoking can increase the risk of failure. Additionally, certain medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes or immune system disorders might impact the success of surgery.
Failure: While relatively rare, there’s a possibility of failure to integrate with the jawbone or might become loose over time. Factors such as poor bone quality, improper placement, or certain health conditions can contribute to this.
It’s important to note that while these potential downsides exist, dental implants are still considered one of the most effective and long-lasting solutions for replacing missing teeth. The decision to get dental implants should be made after a thorough discussion with a qualified dentist, such as Dr. Richard Hughes, who can assess your individual situation and provide guidance on the best treatment option for your needs.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
They are widely considered the very best method of tooth replacement. Unlike other types of dental restorations, your implant-supported restorations will never slip out of place. You can enjoy eating all the tough and chewy foods you love, and you can laugh and speak without worrying that your restorations will shift. They can also protect your comprehensive oral health. They are the only restorative treatment that can prevent jawbone atrophy following tooth loss. Meanwhile, your new restorations will be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Why Choose Dr. Hughes?
Because of their incredible benefits on appearance, health, and quality of life, you should choose a highly respected implant surgeon to make certain that you receive the greatest returns on your investment. Dr. Hughes is a leader in the field. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. His testimony before the FDA helped to reclassify blade implants. Additionally, Dr. Hughes offers affordable treatment. His procedures often cost far less than comparable treatments in the DC metropolitan area.
Schedule Your Consultation
Don’t suffer any longer with a compromised smile. Contact Dr. Hughes’ office to schedule your first appointment.