Dental Implants – Chevy Chase, MD
Take Back Your Smile with Natural-Looking Tooth Replacement
Tooth loss can impact a whole lot more than the way your smile looks. Biting and chewing your food becomes more challenging, and the risk of additional tooth loss increases. Although dental bridges and dentures can make your smile appear whole again, these solutions only replace the crowns of the teeth – the visible portions above the gums. If you’re looking for a long-term solution that can fully restore your missing teeth in every way, dental implants in Chevy Chase are the way to go. Contact our office today to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Ronan Freyne!
Why Choose Ronan Freyne, DMD for Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants Placed & Restored In-House
- Chevy Chase Dentist with Almost 20 Years of Experience
- Relaxing Dental Office Atmosphere
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw to take the place of a missing tooth root. Then, the implant takes about three to six months to fuse with the surrounding jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once this step is complete, Dr. Freyne can install metal abutment fixtures on top of the implant, which can be used to support a lifelike dental crown that brings back the natural appearance of your smile. Multiple dental implant posts can also be placed to support a dental bridge or denture.
No matter how many teeth you’ve lost, dental implants can create a solution that delivers unmatched strength, function, and beauty. Plus, they have the potential to last a lifetime!
The Dental Implant Process
Unlike traditional treatments, the process of rebuilding your smile with dental implants will take several months to complete because it’s performed in multiple phases. Each step is necessary to replicate the entire structure of your missing tooth. Although it might take a bit longer, it’s time well spent to ensure your new smile has the foundation it needs to last for a lifetime.
Generally, anyone who has good oral and overall health is a candidate for dental implants; however, you’ll still need a consultation with your dentist in Chevy Chase to ensure they are right for you. Besides a visual examination, Dr. Freyne will need to review a CT scan of your mouth to assess your jawbone’s density. He will also take time to discuss your oral and lifestyle habits to look for any red flags that can cause a problem, like smoking.
Based on the results of the examination, you may need additional treatments to become a candidate for dental implants, like periodontal therapy, bone grafting, or a sinus lift. Although it adds more time to your treatment plan, it creates the healthy, strong foundation your dental implants need to thrive.
Surgical Implant Placement
After you’ve healed from any previous treatments, you’re scheduled for your implant placement surgery. If you’re only having 1 post placed, a local anesthetic may be all that’s needed; however, if you have a more complex case, you may require a sedative or general anesthesia.
Once you’re numb, your gum tissue is opened to expose pre-determined areas of your jawbone. A small hole is drilled into it to insert the post. Your gum tissue is stitched closed, and you’ll spend the next few weeks healing.
The post acts as a new root which stimulates growth in your jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, your bone will fuse to the post, allowing it to stay in place forever with the right aftercare.
Abutments & Restorations
After your jawbone has healed, you’ll enter the final phase of your treatment. You’ll need a second minor surgery to attach an abutment to your dental implant. This is a special fixture between the post and the restoration.
It will take about two weeks for your gum tissue to heal. During this time, the dental lab is hard at work carefully crafting your new restoration. It will be made to match your natural teeth to look seamless when you smile.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Unlike traditional tooth replacement methods, dental implants are designed to integrate with your existing jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration and takes place over the course of several months. Once fully integrated, your replacement should feel almost identical to your previous tooth.
With a fully integrated dental implant, your jaw will maintain its regular shape thanks to the implant consistently stimulating the bone inside your jaw. Chewing your favorite foods also feels completely natural, whether it be your favorite cut of steak or an apple. Blood flow is also restored, allowing you to maintain your youthful appearance and your cheeks’ natural elasticity.
Finally, dental implants are designed to withstand the test of time. On average, implants last anywhere between 25 years and a lifetime when properly maintained. Clinical studies show dental implants to have a 95 to 98 percent success rate, even after 10 years of use!
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants are one of the most versatile tooth replacement options out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing one tooth or several, they can be designed with your needs in mind.
Missing One Tooth
To replace a single tooth, a titanium implant post will be placed inside your jaw. This is followed by an all-porcelain crown, which is meant to reflect light exactly like natural tooth enamel.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Replacing multiple consecutive teeth is done via an implant-supported dental bridge. Unlike traditional bridges, which use modified teeth adjacent to the gap to anchor a restoration, implant bridges use an implant on either side of the bridge. Keep in mind that you do not need a dedicated implant for each tooth you intend to replace.
Missing All Teeth
Whether you need to replace your top or bottom denture, dental implants are the perfect solution. It doesn’t matter if you need a partial or full denture, both can be custom-made to fit on top of dental implants. You can also opt to have the implant denture fixed or removable, depending on your preference.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
The total cost of your treatment will likely differ from another patient’s simply because of how customizable dental implants can be. For one, our office doesn’t know if you need to have periodontal therapy performed since healthy gum tissue is necessary prior to surgery. If you have low bone volume, a bone graft may be needed to make you eligible for implants. The number of implants you need placed and the type of restoration used will also influence cost.
While the cost of dental implants may seem high at first, it should be noted that they are meant to be a long-term investment. They do not require the same level of maintenance nor replacement as other solutions, making them the most cost-effective solution out there. When you have a tooth that’s meant to last for decades, you have the peace of mind that your new smile will stay intact.
Dental Implant FAQs
The dental implant process stands in a class of its own when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The insertion of the titanium post beneath the gum line does something no other form of tooth replacement can match – it replaces the entire tooth from the root to the crown. However, before you settle on this type of smile restoration, you’d probably like some more details about the process. To help out, we’ve answered five of the most commonly asked questions about the dental implant procedure. If you have more questions, though, and you’d like to find out if you’re eligible to receive a dental implant, contact our Chevy Chase dental office today to schedule a visit with Dr. Ronan Freyne.
How long does the dental implant process take?
Each patient’s situation is different, so a treatment protocol is always designed around his or her specific needs. This can also affect the amount of time needed to perform a particular procedure. After an implant is inserted, it can typically take three to six months for the fixture to fuse with the underlying jawbone, and for the jaw and gums to heal.
How long can I expect my dental implant to last?
One of the most attractive features of dental implant insertion is the longevity it offers. With proper care, which should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day and maintaining six-month dental visits, an implant can last up to a lifetime.
Will I be able to eat the foods I love?
After having a dental implant inserted, you’ll be able to maintain a normal diet. However, hard items like certain nuts should be avoided, as they could cause the final restoration to break or the implant to dislodge.
Will I have a natural-looking smile?
Because a dental implant is attached to the jawbone and mimics the function of a tooth root, it provides a natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing smile that will boost your confidence and make for more favorable first impressions.
Is the dental implant process painful?
If you’re concerned about being in pain during the dental implant process, then you have nothing to worry about. We’ll make sure your mouth is completely numb before the procedure begins so that you can have a relaxed and painless experience.
Now that you’re more familiar with the dental implant process, take action today by contacting our Chevy Chase office to schedule an initial examination with Dr. Freyne!