Dental Implants in Cloverly & Silver Spring, Maryland
Your smile is meant to last for a lifetime, and with proper care it can. Unfortunately many patients do not see this as a possibility. They think losing teeth is something everyone will eventually face. It’s no wonder considering that 70 percent of the population in the United States is missing at least one tooth. Yet, with proper care, regular checkups, and good oral health practices, you can retain every tooth in your smile for your entire life. However, if you do happen to lose a tooth due to decay or wear, our restorative dentistry and dental implants can save your smile. You do not have to live with missing teeth.
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
- Gum disease
- Dental decay
- Injury or trauma
- Congenital absence
- Poor oral health care
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Though periodontal disease is largely preventable, it still remains the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. As plaque penetrates the gum line, the bacteria and acids can impact the substructures of your smile. This causes them to break down. Over time, teeth become damaged or loosened and will either fall out on their own or will need to be extracted by our dentist. For some this may not seem like such a big problem, but the truth is that there are many hidden consequences of lost adult teeth.
Call us at (301) 236-9000 to schedule an appointment!
Other Health Problems Linked to Tooth Loss
A visit from the tooth fairy cannot remedy the problems of tooth loss as an adult. Not only is losing teeth a symptom of poor oral health, it can also increase your risk or be the cause of other serious health problems. The main cause of tooth loss is periodontal infection (gum disease), which can lead to plaque entering the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream it moves on, causing damage to other parts of the body as well. Some chronic diseases linked to gum disease include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and kidney disease. Gum disease can also complicate pregnancy.
Aside from chronic health problems, other physical problems will often result from tooth loss. Losing teeth can affect your diet because you will have trouble chewing food. You may also have trouble speaking. Missing teeth can lead to changes in biting force, tooth alignment, tooth decay, and bone loss. For these reasons, it is important to close the gap with dental implants as soon as possible.
Before Dental Implants
In the past, the most common way to treat missing teeth was through a three unit fixed partial denture (FPD). For this procedure the two neighboring teeth would be filed down and topped with crowns. The two crowns would support a false tooth in the middle called a pontic. These FPDs, or fixed bridges, helped to restore the function and aesthetics of missing teeth, but did not prove to be a longterm solution. Usually the false teeth would harbor plaque, the neighboring teeth would begin to decay, and the prosthetic would eventually fail. The invention of dental implants brought a longer-lasting, more stable treatment for missing teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a synthetic tooth, both root and crown, that can be securely grafted into the place of a missing tooth. Usually the root is made from a titanium screw. Once affixed, human bone will naturally grow around and graft to the metal of the screw, anchoring it in place. Once the screw is secure it is topped with a permanent or removable crown that will blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Dental implants by Dr. Keith are versatile. If you are missing one tooth, or several teeth, dental implants can restore the entirety of your smile. With just one tooth, a single dental implant can be used to fill the space. If you are missing several teeth in a row, dental implants can be used to anchor bridges to increase stability. If larger portions of your smile are missing, then mini implants can be used to provide support for full or partial dentures. No matter the condition of your missing teeth, our dentists in Chevy Chase and Silver Spring, MD have a solution suited specifically to your needs.
Top Advantages of Dental Implants
- Stability of dental implants makes eating and speaking easy
- Look, function, and feel like natural teeth
- Do not rely on neighboring teeth for support
- Reduce risk of decay and bone loss
- Made from strong, long-lasting materials
- Implants can last a lifetime
Other Dental Implant Services
Sinus Lift Augmentation
Following the loss of upper back teeth, the sinuses can enlarge, creating an air fill space. Dental implants need to be grafted to bone to be secure. This surgical procedure restores the sinus cavity, so dental implants can be properly anchored.
Autogenous Bone Grafting
If sufficient bone quality does not exist in the area where dental implants are to be placed, it is often necessary to graft some bone into the area. For this surgery, the transplanted bone usually comes from the chin or back of the jaw. Once the deficient area is fully grafted, a dental implant can be placed.
Implant Site Development
Bone loss often occurs when a tooth is extracted due to infection. When this happens, there are several types of bone grafts that can fill in and facilitate the placement of a dental implant.
Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning
With advanced technology and software, we evaluate dental CT scans in three dimensions. We analyze bone quality and location of bone so we can plan the best placement for dental implants. This technology also allows us to work more collaboratively with your restorative dental specialist and ensure ideal results for your smile.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Once treatment for your dental implant is complete, it is important to keep it well-maintained. If it is not properly cleaned it could result in serious infection. To keep your mouth and implant healthy it is necessary to regularly visit the dentist for professional cleanings. These will be scheduled according to your specialized needs to help keep the dental implants in top condition.
I Brush My Teeth Daily… Why Would I Need a Dental Implant?
Wear and tear occurs daily — even with regular brushing and visits to our Silver Spring and Chevy Chase MD offices! Sometimes an injury or a disease can leave you with a few missing teeth, or even just a chip. We can help you get back to that award-winning smile with dental implants.
The Science Behind a Dental Implant
Dental implants consist of a “root” that has a post with a replacement tooth attached. The root and post are usually made of titanium to ensure that the metal pairs well with the human bone in the jaw. The root is surgically placed into the jawbone and can have a permanent or removable tooth attached. Permanent teeth are generally preferred and recommended because they feel more natural and are more stable than removable teeth.
Why Choose Dental Implants Instead of Dentures or Bridges?
The cost of dental implants can be higher than traditional alternatives, but is justified by the benefits. Plus, dentures and bridges have a few shortcomings that dental implants do not.
- Bridges and dentures can be unstable
- Eating may be more difficult with dentures or bridges
- Dental implants give you more confidence to smile fearlessly
- A more natural look and feel can be achieved with dental implants
- Dental implants allow you to have a stronger biting force
- Implants do not rely on your neighboring teeth for support like bridges, so the health of your other teeth will not be compromised
- Implants, when cared for properly, last a lifetime
- Bridges tend to last only ten years
Are Dental Implants Best for Me?
The versatility of a dental implant allows it to work for many different situations such as:
- A missing tooth
- Several missing teeth in a row
- Loss of all teeth
With a simple implant and a replacement tooth, a single tooth can easily be fixed. While each situation is unique, even a few missing teeth in a row can be repaired with strategically placed implants and a permanent bridge. Most importantly, even those who have lost all their teeth are not out of luck. A denture supported by a dental implant can be one of the best options for getting that beautiful smile back.
If you are a nonsmoker with good oral health — including healthy gums with no sign of gum disease — and have a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, you could be the perfect candidate for dental implants.
After receiving a dental implant, regular brushing, flossing and checkups can resume. Implants act just like your own regular teeth and will thrive along with your other teeth if you take good care of them.
Call for an Appointment Today
With the advantages of modern dentistry, we can restore normal function, aesthetics, speech, and health for patients with missing teeth. If you take care of your dental implant, with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups it can last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? If you are missing a tooth we can help.
Tooth loss issues are more common than you think! Not to worry, tooth replacement can help you get your smile—and confidence—back. Whether it’s natural or a result of an injury, we can help you replace your missing teeth.
Dr. Keith has plenty of experience with dental implants, so if you are considering whether or not implants are the right fit for you, just call us today to schedule a free consultation at (301) 236-9000.