Have you been considering replacing lost teeth with dental implants but have a few questions? Alexandria, VA, dentist Dr. George Solier answers a few commonly asked questions.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth. Once they're in place, your entire missing tooth can be reconstructed by attaching a dental crown to the top of the implant. Implants are tiny posts made of titanium, a type of metal that bonds well to bones. Bonding ensures that your implant can support your new crown without moving or loosening.
How long does it take until I have a new tooth?
The length of the process varies from person to person. In some cases, you may receive a new temporary tooth at the time you receive your implant. In other cases, a crown won't be added until the implant fully bonds to your bone, which may take three to six months. You'll need to add three weeks for the addition of an abutment, a connector used to attach the crown, and two weeks for fabrication of your new crown. You may also need bone grafts to strengthen your jawbone if it isn't deep enough to support a dental implant.
Who can receive dental implants?
Dental implants are a good restoration option if you need to replace multiple or single teeth. As long as your oral and general health is good, and you don't smoke, you'll probably be a good candidate for implants. Smoking and some diseases can affect healing, which may significantly lower the implant success rate. Daily flossing and brushing will keep your implant healthy. Grinding your teeth can loosen your implant. When you visit our Alexandria office, we can fit you with a nightguard that will protect your implant if you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep.
Aren't dental implants expensive?
Dental implants can be a little costly in the short-run, although they often offer the best value long-term. Because implants bond to your jawbone, most people never need to replace them. If you choose a bridge or dentures instead, you'll need new restorations about every 10 to 15 years. Over your lifetime, this can be quite costly. Although you'll need to replace your crown periodically, crown replacement is much cheaper than receiving a new set of dentures or a bridge.
Fill the gap in your smile with dental implants. Call Alexandria, VA, dentist Dr. George Solier at (703) 360-4500 to schedule an appointment.