Dental Implants — Lynchburg, VA
Permanently Replace Your Teeth
Have you lost a tooth? Not seeking treatment for an absent tooth could result in a complete change in your bite, which can ultimately create other complications. A gap-ridden mouth may affect your self-image as well. Fortunately for patients in the Lynchburg, Virginia area, Dr. James M. Peery, Jr., Dr. James M. Peery III, and Dr. Samuel Woolwine III might be able to help! Dental implants can offer a stable, permanent way to fill in your smile, and they can also rejuvenate your overall appearance. Not everyone qualifies to get a dental implant, however, so please call Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry today to learn if you can receive this reconstructive therapy.
Why Choose Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry For Dental Implants?
- Start-to-Finish Convenience
- Advanced Technology for Increased Comfort and Success
- Calming Sedation Dentistry Available
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is actually a tiny screw, which is placed in the socket of the absent tooth. Over time, the bone there will fuse with your dental implant to form an artificial tooth root. A good dental implant candidate needs to have a strong jaw in order for the implantation to be successful. Our team at Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry will evaluate you prior to planning your dental implant procedure. Once it's been determined that you do meet all our requirements, Dr. Peery will be able to proceed with your treatment. Because we care about our patient’s comfort and safety as much as we do the precision of implant placement, we utilize a 3D CT scan to achieve unparalleled accuracy in guided surgery. In many instances, the placement process can be completed without even making an incision.
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
Are you considering dental implants in Lynchburg to replace your missing teeth and want to learn more about the process? Choosing a restoration option can be a daunting task, but at Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry, our team of professionals is here to walk you through every step of the process. We want you to feel comfortable and confident in your decision, which is why we’ve outlined a timeline leading up to the placement of your new teeth.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
The first step to replacing your missing teeth and improving your day-to-day quality of life is to schedule a consultation with us. This is a great opportunity for you to ask Dr. Peery any questions or concerns you may have about the process. After taking X-rays and creating a detailed blueprint of your mouth and oral health, we’ll discuss several restorative options that you have and develop a unique plan for your surgery. Whether you’re replacing a single tooth or multiple, we’ll discuss if a crown, bridge, or implant-retained dentures are the best choice for you.
Dental Implant Surgery
After developing your customized treatment plan, your implant surgery will be scheduled. At Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry, we place and restore dental implants in our very own practice, so we can give you a hassle-free and easy experience! We will place the titanium implants in your jawbone where the gap in your mouth is. Every patient’s experience is different, but typically, you’ll experience minimal discomfort and be able to return to work the next day. You may notice some swelling, bruising, or slight bleeding after the surgery, but nothing that can’t be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
As your gums are healing from the surgery, your implants will begin to fuse with your jaw through a process called osseointegration. This makes your implants a strong, long-lasting, and durable foundation for your restorations to be placed on. The process can take a few months, but once it has been completed, we will place the connector pieces called abutments on top of the implants. These pieces will secure your restorations in place.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
The last step of the process before you’re able to enjoy your new beautifully restored smile is to place your replacement teeth. At our practice, we offer CEREC same-day crowns, which allows us to custom-craft a quality restoration in our office, so you won’t have to wait for it! After your gums heal from your abutment placement, we take impressions of your mouth to custom-make your crowns, bridges, or dentures. After they’re crafted to our specifications, we will attach them to the abutment.
Benefits of Dental Implants
With over 500,000 implants placed annually, dental implants are rapidly gaining popularity as a preferred method for replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, they offer unique advantages due to their placement within the jawbone. This modern tooth loss solution has the potential to significantly enhance your confidence, oral health, and overall quality of life. Click on the button below to learn more!
Dental implants offer numerous benefits that greatly enhance patients' daily lives, including:
- Restored ability to chew your favorite foods. Dental implants provide a strong and stable foundation, allowing you to enjoy all of your favorite foods without limitations or discomfort.
- Easy brushing and flossing. Implants function like natural teeth, enabling easy oral hygiene maintenance through regular brushing and flossing routines.
- Confident and lifelike smile. With dental implants, you can regain confidence knowing that your new teeth are aesthetically pleasing and won’t slip or shift out of place.
Beyond oral health, dental implants offer some remarkable health benefits! These advantages include:
- Jawbone preservation. Dental implants provide internal support to the jawbone, preventing the common issue of bone loss that occurs after tooth loss. This also helps maintain the natural shape of the face for an extended period.
- Protection for natural teeth. After tooth loss, dental drift (teeth shifting) can occur. Dental implants act as placeholders, ensuring that the remaining natural teeth remain in their proper positions.
- Enhanced overall health. Research suggests a link between tooth loss and an increased risk of multiple diseases. As dental implants closely resemble natural teeth, it is reasonable to believe that they may contribute to lowering such risks, promoting better overall health.
Opting for dental implants in Lynchburg offers both short-term and long-term benefits that you can look forward to:
- High success rate. Dental implants have an impressive success rate of approximately 95 percent, even up to 20 years after their placement.
- Youthful appearance. Implants play a vital role in stimulating the jawbone, preventing the sunken and aged appearance often associated with tooth loss. By maintaining the natural structure of the face, implants help preserve a youthful appearance for many years to come.
- Long-lasting results. Unlike other solutions, dental implants are designed to withstand the test of time. With proper care and maintenance, they can endure a lifetime, eliminating the need for frequent replacements or repairs.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Since there are many ways to effectively replace teeth via dental implants, you’ll want to go over our options prior to your visit!
- Missing 1 Tooth – Replacing a single tooth involves just one titanium implant and one all-porcelain crown. Thanks to titanium’s biocompatibility, there’s no worry about whether or not your jaw’s organic structures will effectively bond with your prosthetic root. An all-porcelain crown ensures that your new tooth blends in with your smile and looks natural.
- Missing Multiple Teeth – Traditional bridges can be custom-made to fit on top of dental implants. What’s great about implant-retained bridges is that they don’t require the removal of tooth structure to place, which is always the case for traditional bridges. Just two implants are needed to hold a two- or three-crown bridge.
- Missing All Teeth – Those who currently use dentures will be excited to learn that just four to six implants can be used to retain a full arch of teeth. It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing the top or the bottom arch, implants can effectively hold your denture better than the natural suction of your gums.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the most comprehensive solution to extensive tooth loss, but they are also extremely customizable. This means that the price of your dental implant will vary depending on your specific needs. Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry cares very deeply about making sure you’re aware of the implant process and the most notable cost factors to keep in mind. No matter what you pay for treatment, you can expect a tooth replacement that is one of the most cost-effective in dentistry. To schedule your next dental implant consultation, give us a call !
Types of Dental Implants
With every dental implant case being different, it’s important to note that the number of implants as well as the type of implant used will influence your total cost. A good example of this is whether you plan to replace a single tooth with one implant and a porcelain crown vs. placing several implants to hold a larger denture. The latter requires far more planning and time to create such a complex restoration, which in turn increases the price. We’ll go over your needs in great detail, so you know well ahead of time what you can expect when it’s time for payment.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
It’s true that dental implants can carry a high upfront cost that is more than traditional dentures or bridges, but the long-term benefits truly pay for themselves. Since they integrate with the existing bone and gum tissue, you never have to worry about them slipping or shifting out of place. You also don’t need to remove them for cleaning or worry about losing them like you would a denture. In fact, you don’t even need to modify existing tooth enamel as you do for bridges. They’re designed to last for decades and often do so for the rest of the patient’s life, even with minimal maintenance, so you’re likely to pay for less in the long term compared to consistent replacement restorations for dentures and bridges.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
In most cases, dental insurance does not cover dental implants. However, there are some treatments related to dental implants that can be covered, including gum therapy or the initial consultation by our office. If you need help covering parts of your treatments outside of your insurance plan, you can always take advantage of CareCredit. This service lets you pay for treatments in more manageable chunks. The payments often come with very little to zero interest, so paying for your dental implant treatment is more affordable.
Dental Implant Failure & Salvage
Considered the gold standard of tooth replacement, dental implants have an impressive success rate of more than 95% even 10 years after their placement. Of course, there are still rare cases where dental implant failure occurs. It may happen because of infection, trauma, or another unfortunate circumstance. If your newly rebuilt smile ever begins to feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office! We’ll do everything we can to restore your smile with dental implant failure and salvage treatment.
Dental Implant FAQs
Do you have more questions about the dental implant process? For your convenience, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive from our patients below. That way, you can feel confident in your decision to get the latest tooth replacement treatment.
Does dental implant surgery hurt?
Most of our patients report that they’re able to get back to their regular routine a day or two following their surgery. Before the procedure begins, you’ll be completely numbed with local anesthesia. This way, you won’t have to feel any pain during the surgery. It is common to feel tenderness and discomfort once the numbing wears off though. When this happens, you can take over-the-counter medication to help ease the pain. If you have any questions about recovery after the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll let you know whether it’s something to be concerned about.
How long do dental implants last?
With the proper maintenance, dental implants can last for up to 35 years. This is primarily thanks to the fact that when the titanium posts are placed underneath your gums, they form a thin oxide layer. This is a protective shield that naturally forms to keep them from eroding. Once your restorations have been placed, we’ll let you know the best ways to take care of your new teeth.
Am I too old to get dental implants?
No patient is ever too old to get dental implants. Patients who are over 90 have received implant-retained restorations and loved them! In fact, many people wish that they had gotten implants sooner once they’ve had a chance to enjoy all of the benefits they have to offer.
Will I have to continue getting checkups and cleanings with dental implants?
Even though your restorations can’t get cavities, it’s important to regularly visit our office for checkups and cleanings after your procedure. Without healthy gums, your new teeth could be at risk. When you visit us every six months, we’ll examine your mouth and make sure that your dental implants are fully functional and provide you with a thorough cleaning to ensure the health of your gums. We’ll also let you know how any bad oral habits (such as smoking) may be impacting your restorations. This will allow you to get ahead of the curve and protect your mouth from possible damage down the road.
How Will I Feel After Surgery?
There may be some slight discomfort after the implant is surgically embedded. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen should help. You may also want to chew on the other side of your mouth and stick to a diet of soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, eggs, and pasta for a day or two.
How Long is the Healing Process?
Most people need a few months to heal. During this time, the implant and surrounding bone integrate to form a stable anchor for your eventual tooth restoration. Once you’ve healed completely, you’ll return to Peery Family Dentistry to have a crown, bridge, or denture attached to the implant.
Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions
Once done with dental implant surgery, you’ll need time to recover. After all, letting yourself heal ensures you’ll get the most out of your new teeth! That being the case, we at Peery Family Dentistry want to help you through that process. Listed below, then, is a summary of dental implant post-op instructions in Lynchburg. Look it over so your implants succeed in the long term. Still, don’t hesitate to call us if you face abnormal pain or other side effects not mentioned here.
What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery
After your implant placement, you should rest for at least one full day. In particular, your highest priority will be to leave your still-forming blood clot untouched. That way, your healing will go smoothly.
- Spitting (use tissues or swallow your saliva)
- Using drinking straws
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Touching the surgical site with your tongue or fingers
Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement
As you recover from the initial implant placement, you’ll likely face a few side effects. Among these, the most common ones are:
- Intermittent Bleeding – The treated area might bleed a bit as it heals. If it does, you can lessen the blood flow with gauze and light pressure.
- Swelling – The cheek and gums near the implant site could swell over the first 72 hours. Should that happen, use a mix of cold and warm compresses to reduce the effect.
- General Discomfort – It’s normal to feel a slight ache around the implant site. To alleviate it, consider taking some over-the-counter pain relievers.
Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery
Your new implants (and the surrounding gums) will be sensitive for a few days after surgery. As such, our office recommends eating soft, non-abrasive foods during this period. Examples of these include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Soup (not too hot)
- Ice cream
You’re free to return to a normal diet when you feel up to it, but be mindful of the foods you eat to avoid damaging your new smile.
Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene
You’ll want to keep practicing good oral hygiene as part of your recovery. Doing so will help the surgery site(s) heal properly. That said, you should be extra careful.
Consider toothbrushing, for instance. It’s okay to brush as usual the day after placement but move gently when near the surgical sites.
Doing a thrice-daily oral rinse with salt water is also a good idea. With this action, you’ll better manage the levels of oral bacteria.
What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached
After you’ve healed from surgery, you’ll be ready for the final step of the implant process: the attachment of your restoration(s).
Luckily, getting your new crown, bridge, or denture doesn’t involve much recovery-wise. It might cause some mild sensitivity in your gum tissue, but this discomfort is manageable with pain medication. There shouldn’t be any swelling or bleeding. Consequently, you’ll be ready to smile that same day!
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are much more durable than traditional tooth replacement options, being able to last for decades. However, like with other types of dental work, the longevity of dental implants can vary based on the care they receive. Luckily, you don’t need to do anything particularly special; oftentimes, following the steps listed below is enough to keep your dental implants in good condition over the long term. Call our team if you’d like additional advice for dental implant care.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
You might think that you don’t need to give your dental implants the same attention as your teeth while brushing. However, this is not the case; you need to keep the area around the dental implants clean to prevent the plaque and bacteria buildup that can eventually result in gum disease. By brushing and flossing around your dental implant at least twice a day, you can lower your risk of developing an infection that puts your new teeth at risk.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating too much sugar or starch can cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce more harmful acids, eventually leading to the development of cavities and gum disease. To keep your dental implants and the rest of your smile safe, you should make a point of only eating sugary or starchy foods in moderation. Keep up a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and other options that can promote oral health.
Break Bad Habits
Some people bite their fingernails when they’re nervous. Others like to crunch ice when it’s hot outside. And still others are quick to resort to using their teeth to open packages. All of these habits have one thing in common: they are very hard on dental implants and natural teeth alike. It’s important to learn what habits can end up damaging your new smile and to replace them with better habits as soon as you can.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Your dental implants might break or fail if you suffer a blow to the mouth while playing sports. It’s smart to invest in a mouthguard if you participate in any kind of athletic activity – even those that aren’t high-contact.
Also, if you have bruxism, your dental implants could be significantly damaged over time as a result of being exposed to constant grinding and clenching. The best way to protect your new teeth from nighttime bruxism is to always wear a personalized nightguard.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Sometimes there might be a problem with your dental implants that you won’t notice on your own during the early stages. A trained dentist can catch these issues before they can lead to dental implant failure. Don’t forget to visit us every six months for a checkup and cleaning; we’ll make sure that your dental implants are still in good condition and that you’re giving them the right kind of care.