Dental implants are the permanent way to replace missing teeth, and no other tooth replacement can compare.
There are different types of dental implants for different situations, but all implants result in permanent replacement for both teeth and their roots. Anyone who has lost teeth recently or in the past may be a candidate for dental implants. When implants are placed, the success rate is very close to 100 percent. But before placement can begin, it is first necessary for you to make an appointment at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for a consultation and exam to determine if you are a good candidate for implants.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
A “good candidate” means someone who is likely to have successful fusing of the implants to the jaw bone. The most common thing that stands in the way of implant success is jaw bone loss, which happens after a long time of being without teeth. In other words, if you lost teeth years ago, you are less likely to be deemed a good candidate for implants. However, with the various types of implants available today, the percentage of long-time denture wearers who are able to have successful implants is higher than in the past.
“My missing side tooth always made me uncomfortable, but I wasn’t sure what to do to fix it. Dr. Whitman suggested dental implants and I have to say, my smile has never looked better!”
— Gene, Waterford, VA
Years ago, one of Gene’s premolars fell out. He’d had a large filling done on the tooth in the past, but after crunching on ice one evening, the filling fell out, and the tooth fell out a few days later. Gene never sought treatment for his missing tooth.
“Some time went by and my teeth began to shift. I kept getting food stuck in the gaps where my missing tooth was. It was not only uncomfortable, but embarrassing.”
Gene scheduled an appointment with Dr. Whitman to see what could be done about his
missing tooth. Fortunately, there was still enough space for a dental implant to work. Gene and Dr. Whitman talked about what the dental implant procedure would entail, and whether or not it was a good option for Gene.
“I work in construction, so I couldn’t see wearing a partial or something that needed to be removed. I needed the most secure option possible.”
Now that his dental implant is in, Gene says he couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “Super happy with the work Dr. Whitman did—I wish I’d gotten it done years ago!”
Your oral health is also important for dental implant success.
Though most healthy people are candidates, some types of medical conditions increase the risk of implant failure. This includes diabetes and smoking. Dr. Whitman will ask you questions about your health history during an implant consultation. If it is decided that you are a good candidate for implants, the process involves several appointments over a period of time. Depending on the types of implants used and your personal situation, it can take several months to a year to complete the entire process. But for some patients the process may be shorter.
Dental Implant FAQs
Frequently asked questions about dental implants:
Can implants replace any number of teeth?
Yes. Full implants can replace all the teeth in the mouth for edentulous (toothless) patients, or single implants can replace one tooth. Implants can also replace a few missing teeth that are consecutive, or single implants can be used to replace missing teeth in different parts of the mouth.
How are dental implants cared for?
With regular brushing, just like natural teeth. A mild, non-abrasive toothpaste should be used to prevent scratching or damage to the surfaces of the crowns.
Do implants last forever?
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they become a permanent part of your mouth. Implants can be damaged just like real teeth can, but with proper care, it is possible that they can last for your entire life.