Dr. Roxzanne Amos at Bright Life Dentistry has had specialized training for restoring dental implants for her patients in the Virginia Beach area. For the past twenty years, she has been serving the community with cosmetic and life-changing options for their dental needs.
If you have missing teeth, fractured teeth, loose-fitting dentures or wear a partial denture and want to have a more natural feeling and looking option, then a dental implant may be a great option for you!
A dental implant offers a life-like total replacement for a lost tooth. What we commonly all refer to as a "dental implant" really consists of three parts:
1. The fixture which is generally a titanium screw (or even a zirconium screw) that is secured into the jawbone below the gums to replace the tooth root.
2. The abutment, which is the connector piece that connects the fixture and sticks out of the gums to support the crown.
3. The crown which replaces the part of the tooth that you see above the gums.
At BRIGHT LIFE DENTISTRY, we work closely with our surgeons to guide the location the amount and the angle of the implants to provide you with a very natural and comfortable replacement tooth that you can confidently chew your food with. Not only do they look and feel like your natural teeth, but you will never have to be concerned with getting a cavity or needing a root canal since they are made of titanium and porcelain!
There are essentially two phases to this process:
First, there is the SURGICAL PHASE, where the implant fixture is placed into the bone. Unless you are having ALL your teeth replaced at once with dental implants, we generally like to wait approximately 3-4 months to allow the fixture to integrate into the bone before we place a tooth on top of it. The amount of time varies depending upon the age and the health of the patient, and the quality and density of the bone in the jaw.
This is then followed by the RESTORATIVE PHASE, where an impression is taken of the fixture and the custom-made crown and the connector piece are fabricate so the tooth looks natural.
When we do your pre-surgical consultation with you, we can give you a better idea of which type of implant is best for you and if you are a candidate for dental implants.
Dr. Roxzanne Amos works closely with surgical specialists who have over 20 years of experience placing the implant fixtures and she coordinates the pre-planning, impressions and follow-up abutment and crown for the patients so they get the best outcome possible. Dental implants are highly sophisticated medical devices and are not without their limitations and liabilities. That is why Dr. Amos has taken additional courses and training in the placement of dental implants and the restoration of them and only uses the best surgeons, best dental implants parts and best dental labs. She takes the time to help you understand fully what to expect with the procedure and as time goes by. Because she also does full-mouth reconstruction, so he is very familiar with the intricacies of placing the implant in the proper position and achieving maximal angulation for returning the patients to the most comfortable bite position.
Many people ask about the cost of dental implants. Because everyone's case is unique and depending upon the type of implant, the number of implants, the type of restoration and the health of the bone, the prices may vary. This is why we offer a complimentary consultation to help you decide if you would like to move forward with this procedure.
While many dental insurance companies still don’t cover dental implants at this time, our office will work with you to try to maximize whatever benefits you may have currently. Often, they will have an allowance for some type of restoration in that space.
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FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GET A DENTAL IMPLANT
1). Make sure when you get a fee quoted, it includes EVERYTHING. There are so many options available for dental implants that it’s nearly impossible to compare one office to the next based upon one fee. Some of the “additional” fees you may run into include: X-rays, bone grafting, a specialized x-ray, the crown and the abutment that fit onto the implant fixture and finally, the follow-up visits for maintenance. Therefore, we suggest coming in for a no-cost or obligation implant consultation to see more accurately what you fee will be.
2). Most implants will take at least 3-6 months or longer before you are chewing on them. It takes a few months for the bone to integrate about an implant fixture. Anyone who places an implant and then gives you the full-sized final crown in one visit is either taking a risk of disrupting the integration process or risking the potential loss of the implant by “loading” it immediately. Sometimes, due to the location of the implant, in the cosmetic zone, a temporary crown that is slightly lower than the bite will be placed. By using proven technology and procedures, our goal is to provide a 95% success rate with implants and ensure the longest lasting service available to you. Utilizing the all-of-four technique, we may be able to utilize denser bone and have you chewing on your implants sooner!
3). Not everyone is an ideal candidate for a dental implant. If you are a smoker or have diabetes, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot have a dental implant, however, you should be told that these situations might require a little more precautions or time for healing. They can cause potential complications during the healing phase. Patients who have lost their teeth years ago and never had any bone grafting to stabilize or preserve the arch height might have a more difficult time getting an implant to integrate as it not only requires a good density of bone to hold the fixture in place but also a decent height and width of bone as well. Using special x-rays, we can help determine if you are a candidate for implants. There are other health conditions that might also factor in as to whether you would be a good candidate for an implant as well.
4). While the initial cost for an implant may be higher than the option of a bridge, in the long run, it typically ends up costing less. A dental implant will never need a root canal or get a cavity. As long as you maintain it well and use proper home care because dental implants ARE susceptible to the same bacteria that cause gum and bone issues, a well-placed implant can last you a lifetime. A bridge, on the other hand, might need to be replaced every 15 years on average because a new cavity develops under the bridge. Therefore, if you have a bridge replaced a few times over your lifetime, it will cost more. Plus, there is the risk that one of the support teeth for a bridge might get a cavity deep enough need a root canal and then the cost differential is in favor of an implant.