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Thinking About Dental Implants and Have Questions?

If you’re missing teeth and considering dental implants, the number of options and prices can be overwhelming. You may have seen commercials on television that offer same-day tooth replacement for both arches or already did research that didn’t address all your concerns. It’s natural to have many questions regarding the process, what to expect, and how much it will cost. From telling you up front about costs to a board-certified oral surgeon with excellent surgical and people skills, we’re committed to providing personalized solutions that exceed your expectations. We prepared this FAQ in Waynesboro and Charlottesville, VA based on our extensive experience placing dental implants and questions asked over the years by our patients. Patient education is an integral part of our practice philosophy. We want all our patients to make informed decisions and know what to expect every step of the way on their journey to a restored smile! We encourage you to review this list of frequently asked questions in Charlottesville and Waynesboro, VA as a guide to prepare for your phone consultation or first visit with our oral surgeon Dr. R Jonas Collins.

It’s natural to have many questions regarding the process, what to expect, and how much it will cost.

Common Questions About Implants

A dental implant is made up of three parts—a titanium post, an abutment, and the restoration. The titanium post replaces the natural tooth root and once it fuses with your jawbone, delivers a secure and strong support for a replacement tooth, bridge, partial dentures, or full mouth dental implants.

Dental implants provide support and retention for a removable overdenture that snaps on your implants or a fixed denture. Implants ensure that the full or partial denture doesn’t move and reduce or eliminate all the other issues associated with conventional dentures.
Most restorations are fabricated from porcelain or the dental ceramic zirconia. Zirconia has been called “ceramic steel” due to its optimum properties for dental use including superior toughness, strength, and fatigue resistance compared to porcelain, in addition to excellent wear properties and biocompatibility. Aesthetically, zirconia has a translucency and color comparable to that of natural teeth.

If you lost a tooth or teeth due to decay, periodontal disease, injury, a failed root canal, or root resorption, you may be a candidate for dental implants. After a comprehensive consultation and evaluation, Dr. Collins will provide you with recommendations based on your oral and overall health. While adequate bone health and healthy gums are a perquisite for dental implants, Dr. Collins has the knowledge and skills to resolve these issues to help most patients become good candidates for dental implants.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard tooth replacement solution because they offer unsurpassed longevity, versatility, superb functional benefits, and a beautiful, natural appearance. They can be used to replace a single tooth, many teeth, upper or lower arches, or both.

Tooth loss can cause shifting of surrounding teeth that can lead to bacteria buildup, decay, gum disease, and a change in bite. A dental implant fills this space and keeps teeth straight and in place without the need to alter adjacent teeth. After tooth loss, the section of bone underlying that tooth begins to deteriorate and melt away. Dental implants function as substitute tooth roots to keep your jawbone intact and preserve the structure of your face.

Dental implants have achieved a consistently high success rate (95-98%) since their introduction more than 40 years ago. A combination of surgical technology, high-quality materials, clinical experience, long-term professional maintenance, and diligent oral hygiene helps ensure the best outcomes.

Peri-implantitis and failed integration (osseointegration) with the jawbone are the two primary reasons for failure. Primarily associated with poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, and smoking, peri-implantitis is an aggressive infection that damages the bone around the implant. The main reasons for implants not successfully fusing with the jawbone include inadequate bone quality and absence of bone grafting, smoking, specific systemic diseases, and certain medications.

The cost of dental implants is based on many factors, including the number of missing teeth and location, type of implant posts and restorative materials, need for preliminary treatments (e.g. bone grafting), practice overhead, and geographic differences. We believe in transparent pricing and offer substantial discounts, unlimited warranties, file insurance claims on your behalf, work hard to maximize your benefits, and offer third-party financing through CareCredit®.

With advanced surgical technology, modern dental implant placement is efficient and precise. To place a single dental implant in your gums, Dr. Collins will cut into your gums to expose the jawbone then drill a small hole in the bone so the implant can be inserted. Dr. Collins has developed an innovative, minimally invasive flapless technique that enhances healing.
Most implants procedures are less uncomfortable than a tooth extraction. In addition to a local anesthetic, some of our patients request nitrous oxide or we can prescribe Valium before surgery. Although you may feel some pain after the procedure, over-the-counter pain relievers are typically adequate for alleviating postsurgical pain.
Dental implant treatment can range from a few months to over a year. In many cases, implants can be surgically placed soon after the consultation and treatment plan are complete. If you need bone grafting, Dr. Collins may need to do this several months before dental implant surgery to allow adequate healing. After dental implants are placed, it can take three or more months for implants to integrate with your jawbone. In many cases, patients wear a temporary restoration during healing until the final restoration fitting.
Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, therefore resting for a few days after your appointment is advised. In addition to eating a soft diet for a prescribed length of time, you shouldn’t smoke or chew tobacco. This causes gum disease and recession, which can weaken the dental implant structure. If you have any swelling, only use ice. Don’t drink through a straw because this places pressure on your mouth that could dislodge the blood clot over the wound, cause additional bleeding, and delay healing.
Dental implants can be cared for like your natural teeth and require no special maintenance. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day should suffice. Depending on your restoration, a water flosser may be needed to ensure all food debris is removed.
Yes, it’s important to see your dental hygienist and dentist every six months for routine care. While dental implant restorations are resistant to decay, poor oral hygiene can result in peri-implantitis and possible dental implant failure, as well as additional tooth loss.
Dental implants are designed to last for decades and have the potential to last a lifetime! Surgical technology and clinical experience, along with your health habits, ultimately affect the longevity of your implants. Choosing an experienced oral surgeon like Dr. Collins better guarantees the long-term success of treatment. We stand behind our quality with unlimited warranties.

Being well-informed is the first step to restoring your smile.

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