If you have a missing tooth and it is not replaced fairly quickly, a series of dental problems can be set in motion. With implant dentistry, Dr. Chung offers our patients a safe and reliable way to prevent further dental issues.
The Dangers of Tooth Loss
There are two main dangers that accompanying tooth loss. First, the loss of bone can expose the nerves in the jaw, causing pain or a loss of sensation. Second, bone loss takes away the support for facial muscles, eventually causing facial collapse and a face that looks older.
In the first year after the loss of a tooth, up to 25% of the bone is lost, and bone loss continues on from there. Dentures can accelerate this process. Chewing with dentures, especially ill-fitting dentures, can cause a decrease in the blood supply to the bone and increase the rate of bone loss.
"The dental implants provided by Softouch Dental Care will fill both the gap left by the missing tooth and the gap left in the jawbone by the missing tooth root to stop bone loss." - Michael Weiss, Champion Figure Skater
“I have received endless compliments on my smile. When I am on TV hosting a skating event, I smile with confidence and that smile creates a warm and welcoming feeling for the audience. -
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants allow you to talk, chew, and exert pressure just like natural teeth. Implants prevent bone loss that occurs when teeth are missing. They are the strongest, longest-lasting replacement for missing teeth.
In addition, the entire treatment can be done in one visit. Dr. Chung extracts teeth as needed, places a bone graft if bone volume is low, places the implant and attaches the new teeth—either a crown, a bridge, or denture. Permanent teeth are placed after the implant has healed, in about three or four months, but the temporary teeth are completely functional.
For some patients, All-on-4® dental implants may be the perfect one-day solution for permanent tooth replacement. In consultation with Dr. Chung, you can discuss whether All-on-4 is the right choice for you.
Candidates for Dental Implants
A common reason patients were refused implant treatment in the past was insufficient bone volume as a result of gum disease or tooth loss. With modern technology, however, most people can be candidates for dental implants and can now experience the benefits of dental implants.
Previously, people with certain health conditions such as diabetes or habits such as smoking, were considered too high risk for implant placement. Now, those patients can be safely treated. Although these factors do slightly reduce the success rate of the procedure.
How Dental Implants Work
Placing an implant is dental surgery. The implant is a small titanium cylinder with a slightly grooved surface. When it is in place, the jawbone grows in around it, incorporating it as part of itself. Titanium is chosen because it has such good affinity with bone tissue.
When implant and bone have merged and the gums have healed, a minor surgery adds an abutment to the implant. It is a small protrusion through the gum tissue. In the final procedure, a porcelain tooth is placed on it and permanently cemented to give you a new tooth, complete with new root.
Dr. Chung uses a high-tech dental CT scanner to capture 3D x-rays of the teeth, nerves, jawbone, and related structures. These images allow Dr. Chung to create and manipulate a 360° view of your mouth for planning the position and angle of implant placement.
Most of the work of the implant placement is completed before the implant is placed, which makes the procedure faster and easier on the patient.
Multiple Teeth And Bridges
A single implant can support two teeth if that is needed. It has two abutments placed on it in the right positions to be cemented to the two new porcelain teeth.
Implants can also support a bridge, which avoids having to put crowns on healthy teeth to support the bridge and avoids any metal wings or attachments needed for support. In fact, implants can anchor a complete set of teeth, both upper and lower, if that is needed, and if there is enough bone tissue in the jaw.
Dental Implant Types
The titanium cylinder implant is called a root form implant, and is done when the jawbone is both wide enough and dense enough to hold that type of implant.
If the jawbone is too narrow, a plate form implant can be used, which is flat rather than cylindrical, and requires less bone width.
If the jawbone is both too narrow and not dense enough, a subperiosteal implant is used, placed above the bone rather than in it, and below the gum tissue.
Choosing Dr. Chung for Dental Implants
Dr. Chung is a graduate of the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), where he acquired thorough training in implant dentistry, both theoretical and hands-on. Dr. Chung uses the latest technology and procedures to provide accurate, minimally invasive implant surgery to replace missing teeth. Thanks to his skill in aesthetic dentistry, replacement teeth look and feel like natural teeth, and in most cases, Dr. Chung can place the implant and a new tooth in the same day.
Would you like to find out if dental implants are the best option for you to replace missing teeth? Call Softouch Dental Care today at 703-319-6990 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Michael Chung.
We serve patients throughout Oakton, Vienna, and Northern Virginia. We hope to meet with you soon.