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Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

What Are Dental Implants?


When you lose your teeth, every part of your life is affected. This is true whether you lose one tooth or you lose them all. Along with the obvious impact this event has on your smile, tooth loss makes simple tasks like eating and speaking difficult. Your jawbone begins to weaken, causing the bone to change shape. Shifting bone can lead to the shifting of the teeth you have left. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we can treat your tooth loss, restoring your life, with dental implants.

Parts of the Dental Implant

Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment for tooth loss that involves a surgical procedure to place titanium posts directly into your jawbone. There are three components involved:
•  The implant. The actual implant is a small, usually titanium, post. It is placed directly into the jawbone through a surgical procedure. As you heal from surgery, the implant integrates into the jaw. This process is called osseointegration, where the bone fuses to the post, turning into a stable root.
•  The abutment. The abutment is a connector, which is placed at the top of the implant above your gum line. It works to provide the crown with stability.
•  The crown. The crown replaces the visible part of your missing tooth. It functions much like a natural tooth, enabling you to bite, chew and speak, as well as proving you with a beautiful smile.

Types of Implants

Dental implants are very versatile and can be customized to meet a variety of different needs:
•  Single tooth implants. A single post and crown replace one tooth in any part of the mouth.
•  Multiple tooth implants. This type of implant replaces two or more consecutive missing teeth. One or more implants are used to support the restoration depending upon the number of teeth you are missing and the condition of your jawbone.
•  Implant supported dentures. 6 to 8 implants support an entire arch of replacement teeth for either the top or bottom jaw.
•  All-on-4® Treatment Concept. If the jawbone is too weak to support the implants needed for an implant supported denture, this treatment concept may be able to help. Your teeth are supported on four strategically placed implants that take advantage of the bone you do have, avoiding the need for a bone graft.

Implant Benefits

Dental implants offer several benefits:
•  They look, feel and function just like your natural teeth.
•  You can eat all of your favorite foods and chew thoroughly, which aids in improved digestion and nutrition.
•  Your speech is restored.
•  Your smile, and your confidence, are improved.
•  Implants are more comfortable than traditional options. Unlike dentures, which rely on your gums for support, your replacement teeth are supported by the actual implants and your jawbone.
•  Your teeth are held securely in place. You do not need to worry about them slipping or falling out.
•  Implants can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth.
•  Your adjacent teeth remain intact. Unlike crowns, your natural, healthy teeth do not need to be altered in any way.
•  Implants stimulate your jawbone, just like your natural teeth. This helps to stop, and prevent, the bone loss that follows tooth loss. Moreover, because the implants integrate into the jawbone, they are meant to be a permanent solution.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Dental Implants?

While dental implants do offer some unique advantages over traditional tooth replacement treatments, they do have their drawbacks:
•  They require a surgical procedure, which also requires a long recovery process.
•  They are often more expensive than traditional options.
•  If you lack the necessary jawbone, you may need to undergo a bone graft first before you can undergo implant surgery.

Dental implants are a unique, revolutionary treatment for replacing missing teeth. For more information, and to find out if you are a candidate, call Neil Starr, DDS, PC today to schedule your consultation at (202) 897-0015.


Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Washington Office

1234 19th Street N.W. #306
Washington DC, 20036
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