Over 500,000 people per year are turning to dental implants to treat their tooth loss because they offer a variety of benefits not possible with other treatments. Not sure how dental implants work in Charlottesville? Here’s what you need to know to treat your missing teeth using the next best thing to your real smile.
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.
After you’ve healed from any previous treatments, you’re scheduled for your placement surgery. Sedation or anesthesia is used to ensure you’re comfortable as your gum tissue is opened to access your jawbone. A small hole is drilled into a pre-determined location in your bone using computer-guided technology. Once the titanium post is in place, your gum tissue is sutured closed, and you’ll spend the next several weeks healing.
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. With your jaw supporting the post, you can regain as much as 70% of your natural biting force.
Once your bone has healed, you’ll need a second procedure to attach a fixture to your post, called an abutment. Your tissue is opened to expose the post to connect the abutment. Your gums will heal around the fixture to create a natural-looking gum line.
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.
If you’re ready to invest in a complete smile, contact our office today to see if you’re a candidate for dental implants in Charlottesville.