Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root strategically placed in the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis, such as a crown, bridge, or full arch restoration. Through a process called osseointegration, surrounding bone tissue fuses to the implant post, ultimately making it a permanent part of the mouth. Due to the strength and stability dental implants provide to the tooth restorations overtop, they are indisputably the premier option for replacing missing and/or damaged teeth. 

Dr. Deb and Dr. Rob are expertly trained to complete all aspects of dental implant surgery here at Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, eliminating the need to visit other dental offices for the various phases of treatment. From initial planning and surgical placement of the implant(s) to the custom creation and final fitting of the restoration(s), you can expect an unmatched level of care that results in a beautiful smile transformation.

What Benefits Do Dental Implants Offer?

dental_implantsDental implants are considered the top solution available for tooth replacement. Unlike traditional dentures or dental bridges, dental implants are anchored to your jawbone like a natural tooth root, enabling them to remain securely in position as you speak, eat, and smile. Additionally, the restoration fixed to the top of the implant is custom-designed to match the color and shape of your surrounding teeth, ultimately providing results that look and feel remarkably natural. In short, key benefits of dental implants include:

Are There Candidacy Requirements for Dental Implants?

In addition to needing one or more missing or damaged teeth replaced, patients must have satisfactory oral health and enough jawbone density to support the implant post(s) to be considered candidates for dental implants. Fortunately, the implant solutions offered by Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb use bone tissue that many people still have, despite bone deterioration after tooth loss, which significantly increases the number of individuals who qualify as good candidates at our practice. Furthermore, if it is determined that you are not initially qualified for dental implants due to these factors, our dentists can perform periodontal care, tooth extraction(s), bone grafting, and/or various other services that can help make you more qualified for the procedure. 

What Are My Tooth Replacement Solutions with Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. The following information can help you determine which implant tooth replacement solution may be best for your specific needs and desires.

Single Implants

Single dental implants can be a great option for replacing individual teeth. Each implant is carefully inserted into the jawbone in the space left by the missing or extracted tooth, and a dental crown is custom-fabricated to match the size, shape, and color of the natural teeth on either side.

Multiple Implants

Multiple dental implants will typically be the best solution for replacing three or more consecutive teeth. With this option, anywhere from two to six implant posts are used to secure a single restoration (such as a dental bridge, partial denture, or full arch) that spans the entirety of the gap left by the absent teeth. The total number of implants needed will be determined by your bone density and how many teeth the restoration is being used to replace.

Permanent Full Arch Tooth Replacement

Permanent full arch tooth replacement—also called implant-supported teeth—refers to a full set of upper and/or lower prosthetic teeth fixed in place with dental implants. As opposed to traditional removable dentures that can slip or shift along the gumline, this advanced technique affixes your full arch tooth replacement to your jawbone via multiple implants, enabling your restoration to look, feel, and function like natural teeth. At our practice, Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb utilize various implant-supported teeth solutions. Since our techniques involve the use of bone tissue that many people still have despite bone deterioration after tooth loss, the number of individuals who qualify as good candidates for permanent full arch tooth replacement at our practice is significantly increased. For more information, we encourage you to visit our page dedicated to full arch tooth replacement.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Full mouth reconstruction is generally necessary when all (or virtually all) teeth need to be replaced. For the upper row of teeth, a total of five or six dental implants are inserted along the jawbone, and a customized Upper Hybridge® Full Arch Dental Implant Restoration containing 12 teeth is secured. Similarly, four or five implants are strategically placed along the lower jawbone, and a Lower Hybridge® Full Arch containing 12 teeth is fixed in position. In addition to restoring teeth, these Hybridge® Full Archs also replace the gumline for an even more natural look and feel. To learn more, please visit our page on full mouth reconstruction.

What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Entail?

To begin the dental implant process, Dr. Rob or Dr. Deb will first meet with you to perform an extensive oral evaluation. The purpose of this examination is to determine whether or not you have an adequate amount of jawbone density to safely and effectively support one or multiple implants. If it is decided that you are a good candidate, your dentist can proceed with planning the surgical phase of treatment using our 3Shape TRIOS® and Carestream CBCT systems, which aid in determining the ideal location(s) for implant placement to help ensure optimal success. If you are not qualified for the implant procedure, your dentist may suggest an option such as bone grafting to help improve your jawbone density, or they might recommend a potential alternative treatment.

At the time of dental implant surgery, Dr. Deb or Dr. Rob will meticulously insert the implant(s) through the gum tissue and into the jawbone in the designated area(s). Depending on your unique treatment plan, the implant(s) may be coated in leukocyte platelet-rich fibrin, a natural healing aid detailed more extensively in the section below. Once placed, the implant post(s) will need to fuse to the bone over the course of a few months. During this time, a temporary restoration may be attached to the tip of the implant(s) until the fusion is complete. When this occurs, each implant is officially a permanent part of your mouth, and your customized dental crown, bridge, or full arch can be secured in place by your dentist. The final result is a beautiful, natural-looking and feeling restoration that improves both the appearance and function of your teeth.

Enhanced Healing with L-PRF

In order to assist with healing after dental implant surgery, Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb can often utilize leukocyte platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF)—a natural, biocompatible substance created from a patient’s own blood that promotes bone and soft tissue repair and regeneration. 

To make L-PRF, a small sample of your blood is first drawn via routine laboratory techniques and placed in a uniquely designed centrifuge located right here in our office. Next, the centrifuge spins the vial at an incredibly rapid rate, causing condensed clots of platelet-rich fibrin to form and separate from other natural elements in the blood. Once isolated, the fibrin clot is carefully extracted and placed into a special compression system used to press out any remaining liquid, resulting in a thin membrane of highly concentrated healing elements.

For dental implant surgery, L-PRF can be utilized to coat each implant before insertion into the jawbone, as well as to cover the gums in and around the treatment area. Doing so has proved to help stimulate bone and gum tissue regrowth, improve the health of existing bone and gum tissue, lessen discomfort and swelling, reduce the risk of infection, and even accelerate the entire healing process—ultimately creating a better overall dental implant experience and superior results. Due to its exceptional qualities and benefits, Dr. Deb and Dr. Rob also frequently employ L-PRF for bone grafting and full arch tooth replacement. 

The use of L-PRF for dental implant surgery—or any other applicable procedures—will be determined at the time of your consultation.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Once fused to the jawbone, the dental implants themselves become a permanent part of the mouth, as long as they are properly cared for following treatment. This includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as receiving professional dental cleanings at least twice annually. The restoration placed on top of the implant(s) can also be long-lasting when ideal oral hygiene habits are maintained, often lasting years—and potentially decades, or a lifetime.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

In general, dental implants are considered a safe tooth replacement solution, having been used in restorative dentistry for decades. Like any surgery, however, there are risks associated with the procedure, making it imperative that you choose a dentist who is highly qualified and experienced in all phases of treatment. This includes surgical planning, implant placement, final restoration design/attachment, and aftercare. At the time of your consultation, Dr. Deb or Dr. Rob can discuss all potential complications with you, as well as the various techniques and preventative measures they employ to maximize the safety and overall efficacy of treatment.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

At our practice, most patients experience minimal or no discomfort during dental implant surgery thanks to sedation dentistry. With options such as oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation, Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb are able to perform treatment while you remain in a completely relaxed and comfortable state. Following the procedure, some degree of soreness and discomfort is common, though these symptoms can typically be alleviated via medication until they fully resolve on their own.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

On average, the cost of single-tooth dental implants at Bethesda Sedation Dentistry ranges from $6,000 to $8,000. This price covers the surgical placement of the dental implant (which is completed here at our office as opposed to an outside referral), as well as the restoration used to replace the missing tooth/teeth. There may be additional fees, depending on the case and patient requirements. The most common elements that may further impact the overall expense of dental implant treatment can include:

When choosing a dental implant provider, it is important to keep in mind that cost is often a reflection of the skill and experience of the dentist, as well as the quality of materials and technology used. To obtain a personalized quote for the price of dental implants, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists. After performing an extensive assessment of your unique needs and smile goals, Dr. Rob or Dr. Deb can provide a close estimate of what you can expect your dental implant treatment to cost. If desired, our team can also help you explore various dental financing options that can make your dream smile an affordable reality.

Are There Any Dental Implant Alternatives If I’m Not a Candidate?

For individuals who are not good candidates for dental implants, Bethesda Sedation Dentistry offers a number of alternative tooth replacement options, including traditional crowns and dental bridges. In addition, tooth-colored fillings can sometimes be used to help restore teeth affected by damage or decay when extraction is not required. During an initial appointment at our office, Dr. Rob or Dr. Deb can help you determine the most effective tooth restoration options for your unique needs.

Additional Dental Implant FAQs

How successful are dental implants?

When performed for proper candidates by a dentist who is skilled and experienced in implant dentistry, the success rate for dental implants is very high. Of course, the ultimate success of implants is also dependent upon factors such as adherence to healing and aftercare instructions, optimal long-term care and maintenance, and avoidance of particular habits that can jeopardize oral health (e.g. smoking, tobacco use, etc.). As a result, it is critical to not only choose a qualified dentist, but also to ensure you do your part to maximize the outcome.

How does smoking affect dental implants?

Smoking is harmful to dental implants for a number of different reasons—it can slow the healing process, increase the risk of infection, make optimal oral hygiene difficult, and potentially even contribute to bone loss around the implant post. Studies have actually shown the failure rate of dental implants to be higher in smokers when compared to those who do not smoke. For these reasons, our dentists generally recommend anyone who smokes to quit doing so at least one month prior to treatment, ideally with no intention of resuming the habit after the placement of dental implants.

How many dental implants will I need?

Dr. Deb and Dr. Rob will determine the answer to this question during your treatment planning. They can place one dental implant for a single tooth restoration or several implants to secure a multi-tooth prosthetic. Your bone density and other factors will dictate how many implants are necessary. Placing enough implants is critical to the long-term success of the restoration.

How do dental implants feel?

Dental implants and the restoration(s) secured on top should feel exactly like natural teeth. As mentioned before, the implant post itself acts like a tooth root, and Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb are able to completely customize the size and shape of the prosthesis used for tooth replacement—making it blend beautifully with surrounding teeth for a virtually indistinguishable feel. In fact, you may sometimes forget you even have a dental implant!

How do I care for my dental implants?

Once in place, dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, and you should care for them as such. Although implants themselves will not decay, regular brushing and flossing is vital to keeping the surrounding gum and bone tissues healthy.

Are there certain foods I should avoid with dental implants?

One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that there are typically no long-term diet restrictions for patients following treatment. That said, our dentists usually recommend being cautious when biting down on foods that may be hard or contain a solid pit—just as you would with natural teeth. This includes pitted fruits (like certain cherries or olives), as well as ice cubes and various candies. Again, this is not to say you have to avoid these foods—though chewing ice is certainly not advisable—but rather that you simply be more careful when consuming them in order to avoid any excessive wear and tear on your restoration(s).

When is it too late to get dental implants?

Thanks to advancements in bone grafting, it is almost never too late to get dental implants. In fact, by creating adequate jawbone structure via bone grafting prior to the placement of implants, Dr. Rob and Dr. Deb have successfully performed dental implant surgery for many patients who have experienced years of bone deterioration following the loss or extraction of a tooth (or multiple teeth). At the time of your consultation, they can determine whether dental implants would be an option for you now, or if preliminary treatment is necessary first—but it is likely that it’s not too late for dental implants.

How do I find the best implant dentist?

When choosing a dental implant provider, you should select a dentist or dental team with in-depth knowledge and prior experience in all aspects of the treatment. At Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, our dentists and team have this expertise. It is also important to know that implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase. Dr. Deb and Dr. Rob are trained and experienced in both phases of care.

Contact Bethesda Sedation Dentistry

For more information about dental implants, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at our practice, please feel free to contact us today.