Dental Implants


A Dental Implant mimics the natural tooth root.

Dental Implants are a new alternative in tooth replacement.  They are the most esthetic and natural feeling option to replace a missing tooth.  The procedure consists of two stages:  the replacement of a tooth's root with an Implant, followed by the replacement of the visible tooth with a Implant Crown.  A healing time of four months is often required between the two stages.  At the offices of Old Dominion Family Dental, our Doctors work closely with skilled Oral Surgeons and Periodontists to properly plan and place our patient's Implants creating excellent function and the most esthetic results.

Our highest priority is patient education.  During an initial consultation, all options for tooth replacement will be discussed to help the patient decide on the best solution for their lifestyle and needs.  Please, never hesitate to ask any questions or voice concerns.

The first step of the Implant procedure is done by the Specialist.  The gingiva in the area of the missing tooth is gently folded back, and the underlying bone is prepared to receive the Implant.  The extent of the bone preparation depends on the number of implants required.  In a case which involves bone grafts, the graft must first heal for several months before an Implant can be placed.  Once the implant is placed, the gum is sutured closed, covering the site.  The Implant should fully integrate into the bone after four months.  At this time, the specialists will uncover the Implant and place a Healing Cap.  This helps to shape the gingival tissue before delivery of the Implant Crown.

Once released from the Specialist, the second half of the procedure takes place in our office.  The Dentist will remove the Healing Cap and place an Impression Post into the Implant, checking on x-ray that it is seated properly.  Impressions are taken, and the Healing Cap is placed back on.  A specially trained Lab Technician fabricates the Implant Crown.  At the final appointment, an Implant Abutment is placed into the implant, and the Crown is delivered.  The Implant Crown can either be Cemented to the Abutment or Screw Retained depending on the Doctor's preference and the amount of space available.  Our Doctors are experts in creating Dental Implant restorations that look and feel like natural teeth.

The Success Rate of Dental Implants

After the healing period, the success rate of Dental Implants is over 94%.  For a non-smoker with good oral hygiene, the percentage is closer to 98%.

Does the Procedure Hurt?

The discomfort involved with receiving a Dental Implant is similar to that of having a cavity filled.  Step One is done under local anesthesia, and patients generally experience little discomfort after the procedure.  Step Two is often done without anesthesia unless requested by the patient. 

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?

The life span of a Dental Implant will vary depending on the patient.  With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, Dental Implants could last a lifetime.  In contrast, the average life span of a traditional fixed bridge is between 10 - 15 years.


Replacing a Missing Tooth

Dental implants mimic the natural tooth root.

A natural tooth is anchored to the bone by its root. Roots attach firmly to the bone and keep teeth stable while chewing.  Traditionally, when missing a tooth, the healthy teeth on either side of the space would be reduced for Crown Abutments and a Bridge would be placed.  Dental Implants are the modern alternative to a Bridge.  Instead of reducing healthy tooth structure, an Implant is inserted into the bone replacing the missing tooth's root.  Over a four month period, the Implant integrates with the bone like a natural root.  The Dentist then places a Crown onto this artificial root that looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth.


Replacing Several Missing Teeth

Dental Implant Supported Dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone. This helps to prevent bone loss and mimics the feel of natural teeth.

Traditionally, several missing teeth would be replaced with a Removable Partial or Full Denture.  Today, Dental Implants can now be used to anchor Partial and Full Dentures, making them more secure for the patient's comfort.  By attaching to Dental Implants, the irritation and pain of "floating" dentures can be eliminated.  Dental Implants also eliminate the need for Denture Adhesives.  This allows the patient to enjoy eating foods they previously avoided.  With Implants, Partial and Full Dentures are firmly anchored to the bone, causing them to feel much more like natural teeth.  When chewing, the Dental Implants act much like roots to stimulate the bone and prevent additional bone loss.  This preserves the jawbone and helps the patient avoid the appearance of pre-mature aging.


For More Information

The following sites will provide you with more information on dental implants:

Dental Website Design by Dentist Design, Inc.