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Dental Implants – Charlottesville, VA

Need a Long-Lasting Tooth Replacement?

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 the most natural-looking and feeling option out there. To see if dental implants are right for you,  give Dr. Lippard a call today !

Why Choose Hal M. Lippard, DDS for Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants?

computer illustration of dental implant

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. 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.

Partnered with Charlottesville’s Best Specialists

two dentists smiling at camera

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.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

a dentist pointing to a patient’s mouth

While every dental implant treatment is different, there are a few key parts of the process that every patient will undergo. These include an initial consultation with our team, where we’ll gather your medical history and capture X-rays and other important diagnostic information, your implant surgery, which we can complete in-office, your healing period, and the placement of your final restoration. Click on the button below to learn more about what to expect from your journey.

The Initial Consultation

a dentist looking at an X-ray

To begin your journey to a complete smile, your first step is to schedule a consultation with your implant dentist in Charlottesville,  Dr. Lippard . He will perform a thorough examination to ensure dental implants are the right choice for you. Besides a visual exam, he will also take the time to discuss your medical and lifestyle history to look for any potential concerns. Finally, he will review a CT scan of your jaw to check the density of your bone. Based on the results, he may recommend additional procedures before your placement surgery, like tooth extractions, periodontal therapy, or bone grafting.

Dental Implant Surgery

a dentist placing an implant

After you’ve healed from any previous treatments, our team will schedule your placement surgery. Sedation is used to ensure you’re comfortable as your gum tissue is opened to access your jawbone. Using computer-guided technology, your oral surgeon will secure your implants below the gumline. Once the titanium posts are in place, your gum tissue is sutured closed, and you’ll spend the next several weeks healing.

Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

a digital illustration of an abutment

The implant post serves as a new root, stimulating bone growth. Over the next several weeks, your jaw will fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration. Once your bone has healed, you’ll need a second procedure to attach a fixture to your implant, called an abutment. Your gums will heal around the connector piece to create a natural-looking gum line.

Placing the Final Restoration

a digital illustration of a denture being placed atop implants

It will take about 2 weeks for your gums to heal. In the meantime, the dental lab will be working to create your new tooth. They use an impression of your mouth to carefully craft it to match the appearance of your natural teeth. It will blend in flawlessly with your remaining teeth, so no one will know it isn’t real.

Benefits of Dental Implants

smiling person sitting at a desk

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 or longer because of their integration with bone tissue.

Day-to-Day Benefits

friends having lunch together
  • Improved Bite Power: Implants provide nearly the same biting and chewing power as natural teeth. In addition, because the implants are integrated directly into the jawbone, you will never have to worry about your replacement teeth slipping!
  • Natural Looking & Feeling Replacement Teeth: Dental implants are the only tooth replacement solution that restores both the visible portion of a tooth and the missing tooth root structure. This roots-up replacement approach gives dental implants a more natural look and feel compared to traditional dentures or bridges. 
  • Easy to Maintain: Dental implants are easy to maintain. Simply brush twice a day with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, visit your dentist twice a year for a professional checkup and cleaning, and maintain a balanced diet, just like you would for your natural teeth!

Health Benefits

a person working out in a park
  • Prevention of Jawbone Deterioration: When natural teeth go missing, roots are no longer stimulating the jawbone to alert the body that it’s still being used. This causes the body to stop providing stimulation and blood flow to the area and divert it to other areas. Because of this, it can cause the bone to deteriorate with time, leading to changes in the facial structure. Dental implants fuse with the bone to continue stimulating it, preventing it from eroding.
  • Boosted Confidence & Psychological Health: Tooth loss isn’t just an aesthetic issue—it impacts every area of life, from the foods that you’re able to enjoy to the way you interact with friends and family. With a complete and functional smile, you can minimize your chances of developing depression, social anxiety, and other conditions that can arise as a result of a lack of confidence and gaps in your smile.

Long-Term Benefits

person working on his laptop at a table

With proper care, implants can easily last for decades – perhaps even the rest of your life! Thanks to their outstanding durability, they often end up being the most economical way to replace missing teeth. Despite the higher initial cost of implant treatment, you will not have to worry about frequent replacements. Traditional bridges and dentures, on the other hand, typically must be replaced every 7 to 15 years. This takes the long-term financial and time commitment-related stress away, allowing you to just enjoy your new smile!

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

man with glasses concentrating

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.

Computer illustration of implant

Missing One Tooth

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.

computer illustration of multiple implant

Missing Multiple 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.

computer illustration of complete missing implants

Missing All Teeth

Do you need to replace several or all of your teeth in an arch? With several dental implants throughout the arch, we can place a customized implant 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.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

person calculating costs of dental implants

If the cost of dental implants in Charlottesville seems intimidating at first, keep in mind that this treatment offers benefits that traditional alternatives do not. While dentures or bridges need to be replaced every 5-10 years or so, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance. This makes them a one-time investment as opposed to other options that you must pay to get repaired or replaced. Many factors go into the cost of your dental implants. We’ll give you a better idea at your consultation, but here’s a basic breakdown of what you can expect.

Preliminary Treatments & Implant Surgery

graphic illustration of a bone graft being placed

Some patients may not initially be candidates for dental implants and will require preparatory treatments, such as bone grafting to strengthen the jawbone or  periodontal therapy  to treat gum disease. While these procedures are necessary to give your new teeth a healthy foundation, they will increase your overall treatment cost.

Additionally, since Dr. Lippard places dental implants himself, you won’t have to worry about having to receive a separate bill from needing to visit an outside specialist. Our team will factor the cost of your implant surgery into your treatment estimate.

The Parts of Your Implants

a model showing how a dental implant works

The cost of your treatment will vary based on your specific needs. For example, if you only need to replace one tooth, you’ll pay less than you would for a full denture supported by several implants. Additionally, the implants and abutments (small metal connector pieces that secure your restoration onto the implants) can be made of various materials, all of which come with their own unique cost.

Similarly, the type of restoration you need to complete your smile will also impact your overall cost. Generally, the more teeth you have to replace, the higher the price of your restoration. A dental crown that tops a single implant will cost less than a partial denture or bridge that replaces several missing teeth, which will cost less than a full denture that rebuilds an entire arch. Your implant dentist in Charlottesville can go over all of this pricing information during your consultation.

How Dental Implants Can Help You Save Money

a dental prosthetic anchored to implants

Despite dental implants having a higher up-front cost than traditional restorations like dentures and bridges, they provide you with long-term savings due to their lifespan. With the ability to last over 35 years, you can eliminate the amount of money you would spend on replacing and repairing traditional prosthetics and save yourself from additional visits to the dentist.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Implants?

a person with a small tooth and an umbrella in his hands

Dental insurance typically does  not  cover dental implants, but there are often exceptions. Many of our team members have years of experience maximizing patients’ insurance benefits, so we’ll gladly look over your plan to find out if you qualify for any coverage. We are even in-network with many popular  dental insurance  providers, including Delta Dental, Cigna, and MetLife.

Keep in mind that even if your insurance won’t pay for the implants themselves, they may cover other parts of the treatment, such as the restoration or preliminary treatments like gum disease therapy.

Making Dental Implants More Affordable

: a smiling person in a dental chair

Do you still need assistance fitting dental implants into your budget? Our team can help you apply for affordable financing through CareCredit. This company lets you break up the cost of your treatment into manageable monthly payments. Most of these plans come with little or even no interest for qualified patients!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

a man smiling with his new dental implants

Although dental implants provide the most comprehensive and long-lasting solution, you’ll have to take proper care of them to make the most of their benefits. By maintaining them regularly with the right measures, you can expect to enjoy strong and beautiful results for decades to a lifetime. Here are several tips for caring for your dental implants.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

a man with dental implants flossing his teeth

Just like with your natural teeth, you’ll want to practice good oral hygiene every day to maintain your new pearly whites. This will keep them clear of debris, food particles, and harmful germs that can be detrimental to your gums and jawbone tissue. Neglecting to clean them regularly can raise the risk of decay and damage to your overall smile. Simply brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash frequently to keep your dental implants fresh and healthy.

Eat a Healthy Diet

a woman with dental implants eating a healthy meal

Since your titanium posts will help you regain the majority of your chewing power, that means you’ll be free to enjoy a wider range of food choices. To help promote long-lasting results, it’s a good idea to expand your diet to include more nutritious meals that include fruits, veggies, lean meats, and dairy. This will help you maintain good oral and overall health in the long run that way your dental implants remain stable and functional.

Break Bad Habits

a person breaking a cigarette to protect dental implants

Though your dental implants are durable and can last a lifetime, they can still become damaged from poor oral habits. This can include smoking, biting your nails, chewing on hard objects, and using your teeth to open packages. To keep your implants safe and protected, you’ll want to avoid or quit these kinds of habits altogether. Try healthier alternatives like chewing sugar-free gum to prevent damaging your new teeth.

Protect Your Dental Implants

custom mouthguards for protecting a person’s dental implants

Whether you tend to grind or clench your teeth during sleep or participate in contact sports, these are a couple of ways you can wear down or break your dental implants. That’s why you should invest in custom mouthguards to prevent damage in the future. Speak with your dentist and they’ll be happy to recommend the best products for you.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

a patient with dental implants visiting her dentist

Other than implementing these at-home precautions, you should still visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. These visits can help monitor your dental implants and treat any developing issues they might find before they can worsen. This will help you avoid more serious problems that could ruin your newly rebuilt smile, saving you time, money, and trouble in the long run!

Dental Implant FAQs

Question marks, paper, and pen for dental implant concerns

Dental implants in Charlottesville are the most reliable method to treat tooth loss; however, they are a big commitment. We understand you have several concerns before you’re ready to move forward. We’ll explain everything at your  dental implant consultation  to ease your nerves. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions to calm any anxiety until your appointment.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are an investment because they are proven to last for decades, unlike traditional bridges and crowns. You’ll save money down the road because you won’t need replacements every few years. Although they can thrive for 30 years or more, various factors affect their lifespans, like your health and lifestyle. You can safeguard your new smile from any complications by brushing, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthrinse. Don’t forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Your implant dentist in Charlottesville will also recommend avoiding anything that might damage your dental implants, like hard or sticky foods.

Are dental implants removable?

A dental implant is unlike any other treatment because it recreates the entire tooth from the root up. A titanium post is surgically placed into your jaw to act as a new root. Your bone will fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration. Therefore, only a trained dental professional can take them out, such as if dental implant failure occurs.

How can I tell if my dental implant is failing?

Dental implant failure is rare, less than 5%. Although it isn’t common, it’s important to see a dentist at the first sign of a complication, like severe pain around the implant, inflammation, swelling, or bleeding gums. If your implant feels loose, don’t wait to contact your dentist. They will identify the source of the problem to prevent complete implant failure. If you wait too long to see a dentist, they may not be able to save your dental implant.

How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?

Most people can resume their normal activities the day after their implant surgery; however, you’ll want to skip any strenuous exercise for at least the first week to prevent any delays in the healing process. You can expect bleeding to stop after the first one or two days. Swelling should cease after three to four days. You can reduce it by applying a cold compress to the outside of your face. This can also lessen pain by numbing the area. You can use prescribed or OTC pain relievers to manage any discomfort. It’s also best to sleep with your head elevated to prevent the blood from pooling, which can increase pain. In a couple of weeks, your mouth will be healed from the surface, but it can take up to 6 months for your jawbone to fuse to your implant. Your dentist will monitor the progress to determine the correct time to begin the next phase of your treatment.

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