Do you need to replace one or more teeth at a time? You’ll find that while there are many options to consider, only one solution can effectively replace your tooth all the way down to the root. This is through dental implants, which is quickly becoming the new standard for tooth replacement in dentistry. Their durable materials, effective integration, and esthetics make them most natural-looking and feeling option out there. To see if dental implants are right for you, give Dr. Lippard a call today!
Dental implants specifically consist of two main components: the titanium post that replaces the root portion of your smile and the crown that acts as the visible section of your tooth. In many cases, an abutment will also be placed inside of the implant, which provides better stability to the restoration. After the implant has healed and the crown is placed, your replacement tooth should feel almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Unlike other tooth replacements, dental implants replace the entire tooth structure. This essentially means you can expect many of your tooth’s functions to come back once the implant has fully integrated. For example, you can expect a stronger biting force, improved blood flow (which keeps facial tissue taut and youthful) and the longest-lasting replacement tooth with the best long-term value. Keep in mind that dental implants typically last 30 years and longer because of their integration with bone tissue.
During your consultation, we’ll perform a detailed examination of your mouth to confirm if you can receive dental implants. While not everyone is eligible for treatment, advancements in implant dentistry have made it possible for more and more patients to be candidates. If you are missing one or more teeth, you have good overall oral health, and your gum tissue is healthy, you’re far more likely to be able to receive dental implants.
To replace a single tooth, a titanium implant post is placed inside of the jaw and given several months to heal. This process is known as osseointegration. After the implant is integrated, you’ll come back to our office to have a permanent restoration placed on top. We always use porcelain crowns for dental implants so you don’t have to sacrifice your appearance just to replace teeth.
To replace multiple teeth at a time, a pair of dental implants can be placed inside of the jaw in order to hold a larger restoration. In this case, that would be an implant-retained bridge. Traditionally, dental bridges require the removal of tooth enamel so they can act as anchors for the permanent restoration (much like how dental crowns do.) However, because the implants do all of the heavy lifting, you can retain more of your original tooth enamel in the process.
Do you need to several or all teeth in a given arch? With several dental implants throughout the arch, we can place a customized implant-retained denture designed to fit inside your mouth like a puzzle piece. The result is a full or partial denture that offers a more stable fit and better longevity. You can replace either the top or bottom arch with your new restoration.
As part of your implant treatment, Dr. Lippard partners with some of the most experienced oral surgeons in Charlottesville. This ensures that you receive not only a comprehensive dental implant treatment, but that your tooth replacement is nothing but successful every step of the way. Once your implant has been placed and had a chance to heal, you’ll come back to our office to have the permanent restoration placed.
If the cost of dental implants seems intimidating at first, keep in mind that the cost of your treatment is likely to vary depending on your needs. For example, if you do not need preparatory treatments (i.e. gum disease therapy or bone grafts) or you only plan to replace one tooth as opposed to multiple teeth, your treatment will cost significantly less in comparison. Furthermore, dental implants offer long-term investments that are often lost when you choose traditional dental bridges or dentures, even though they are cheaper upfront.