Dental Implants in Rockville, MD
When George Washington lost his teeth over 200 years ago, the only treatment was a poorly fitting denture. (Fun fact, history buffs! They weren’t actually wooden; they were made from ivory and gold!)
Today, patients are a whole lot luckier compared to our forefathers. Dentures have improved dramatically in the past two centuries, and nowadays, they fit comfortably and function well. Even more recently, tooth replacement with dental implants has given patients at our Rockville, MD dental office the most natural feeling and functioning prosthesis yet.
A dental implant comprises a titanium screw-like device, which is inserted into a patient’s jawbone in the area of a missing tooth. The implant itself functions like the root of a tooth and is used to anchor a prosthetic tooth, or crown, to the mouth. Implants and their crowns are solid, fixed prostheses, which patients can use to chew food and smile just like the rest of their natural teeth. Implants are also brushed and flossed as if they were natural teeth.
If you are investigating ways to replace a missing tooth in Rockville, MD, give us a call. One of our dentists can talk to you about tooth replacement options. Because we get so many questions about replacing missing teeth, we have put together a list of common questions below.
- How do I get a dental implant?
- What if I am missing multiple teeth?
- Does it hurt to get a dental implant?
- How do I take care of my dental implants?
- How long will my dental implant last?
- Can my dental implant fall out?
- What are the advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options?
- How do I get started?
How do I get a dental implant?
Making a tooth implant and crown for patients of our Rockville, MD dental office takes several steps.
First, a thorough evaluation is necessary to plan the procedure. Many different types of dental implants are available, and we need to know as much about you and your mouth as we can so that we choose the right one.
During the evaluation, your Rockville, MD top dentist who will be placing the implant will tell you what to expect and how to care for your mouth after the implant has been placed.
After the appropriate amount of healing time—usually a few months—an impression is taken and sent to a lab where artisans will craft your new implant crown to custom fit your smile and your bite.
Then the only thing left to do is place the crown in its proper orientation in your mouth. This step takes place in our Rockville, MD office when the dental implant is permanently integrated into the jawbone.
What if I am missing multiple teeth?
Implants are great for replacing a single tooth, but that’s not all they can do! Dental implants at our Rockville, MD dental office can be used to support multiple teeth on just two implants (implant-supported bridges), and they can even be used to help patients who have no teeth at all.
Many patients who have been missing their teeth for years and have been wearing dentures are frustrated by the way the dentures don’t seem to be stable against their gums. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad denture. The fact is that dentures just don’t work like natural teeth. For patients like this, implants can be used to hold the dentures in place, so they don’t move around during eating or talking. And patients without teeth in Rockville, MD don’t have to settle for dentures! Implants can be used to hold replacement teeth that you don’t have to remove.
Does it hurt to get a dental implant?
Nobody likes dental pain, but the good news about dental implant placement is that the dentist will only proceed after the area has been thoroughly numbed. Most patients in Rockville, MD are pleasantly surprised that the dental implant placement procedure is quicker and less invasive than they’d expected.
After the dental implant placement, there may be minor discomfort and swelling at the site, but this usually clears up in a couple of days. Over-the-counter pain medications usually relieve any symptoms you might experience.
How do I take care of my dental implants?
Dental implants are designed to last as long as a lifetime, but they will need proper care—much like your natural teeth. If your dental implants fail, it usually points to one of two things:
- Teeth grinding or clenching. Also known as bruxism, this unconscious habit can wreak havoc on your teeth as well as your dental implants. Our Rockville, MD dentist may recommend a nightguard, which can protect your teeth from this difficult-to-break habit.
- Gum disease. If you develop gum disease, this can cause your implants to fail. It’s crucial that you practice good home care with proper brushing and flossing and visit the dentist twice a year for examinations and cleanings.
How long will my dental implant last?
Your implants should last many decades—and possibly even for the rest of your life—if you take care of them properly. All you need to do is brush and floss diligently and visit the dentist biannually, and your dental implants should give you many years of service.
Can my dental implant fall out?
Many of our patients worry that their dental implant could fall out. But because they are permanently integrated into the jawbone, they will not fall out or move the way dentures do. In fact, you can treat your dental implant just like you would treat a regular tooth. There are no eating restrictions with dental implants, so enjoy that crunchy apple and juicy steak!
What are the advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options?
In addition to their natural look and convenience, there are other benefits to replacing missing teeth with dental implants at our Rockville, MD dental office:
- Jawbone preservation. When teeth are missing, the body no longer sends nutrients to the area, causing the bone to begin to shrink over time. A dental implant placed into the jawbone tricks the body into thinking there is still a tooth root in place, so the jawbone is preserved.
- Tooth preservation. For tooth replacement options like a dental bridge, the teeth adjacent to the space need to be fitted with a dental crown to keep the bridge in place. With dental implants, there is no need for this, so your healthy teeth are kept intact.
- Easy care. You care for a dental implant just as you would a natural tooth: brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist every six months for examinations and cleanings.
How do I get started?
Have you had a tooth removed recently? Was it was lost several years ago? Are you are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth? In all of these cases, implants at our Rockville, MD dental office can help.
Additionally, if you are unhappy with the way your denture fits in your mouth, please visit us to see if a dental implant can help you, too.
After you have your dental implant, you’ll be thankful that dental technology has come so far since the days of our founding fathers! Call (301) 963-0800 for an appointment today!