Comprehensive Dentistry in Frederick, MD
At Monocacy Valley Dental, our mission is to help patients of all ages achieve a beautiful new smile through comprehensive dental treatment. We're proud to offer a comprehensive array of dental treatments ranging from routine dental check-ups to cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening, but for patients that need to replace a tooth, few treatments are as effective as dental implants. Our Frederick dentist, Dr. Motz, is an expert in dental implants and is proud to have received the status of Diplomat – the highest honor possible – from the International Congress of Oral Implantology, meaning that when you choose Monocacy Valley Dental for your dental implants, you’re in great hands.
What Are Dental Implants?
For many patients, strong oral hygiene is enough to keep the teeth healthy for a lifetime. But if you've lost one or more teeth or need to replace a tooth due to injury or dental disease, dental implants offer one of the most convenient, effective, and long-lasting options to revitalize your smile.
A dental implant is essentially a synthetic tooth root that's inserted into the jawbone, then capped by a dental crown. The 'root' part of the implant is a screw-like post that's made from titanium and inserted into the space left behind by a missing tooth. After the implant has time to integrate with the jawbone, we place a lifelike dental crown on top of it that's custom shaped and color-matched to fit with your smile.
Most patients can receive dental implants, but the ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Dental Implant Treatment Options
Implants are a versatile, adaptable treatment option that can be used to solve a number of dental problems. We can use implants to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire dental arch, depending on what your specific case calls for. If we replace an entire dental arch, we're often able to support all the teeth using only 4 to 6 implants depending on the condition of the jawbone. In all cases, the implants can be either removable or permanent.
While some dental implant treatments are relatively simple and straightforward, other dental conditions can often cause complications with treatment. At our office, we offer a wide range of supplemental treatments around dental implants that allow us to make your treatment even more effective. Some of these implant services include:
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often the sinuses will enlarge following the loss of the upper back teeth. Because the sinus is an air-filled cavity and implants need solid bone for effective placement, this sinus enlargement can make it impossible to place implants. In these cases we may use a sinus lift augmentation or graft. This is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size, then replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus with a bone graft. This new bone graft typically takes 4 to 6 months to heal, after which the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
- Implant Site Development: When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, we'll need to build the bone back up before we can place the implant. We can use various types of bone grafting at the same time that the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
- Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning:At our practice, we have specialized computer software that allows us to evaluate your jaw bone with a 3D x-ray. This allows us to assess jaw bone quality, bone quantity, and nerve location, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants and resulting in the tooth being placed in the ideal location and position.
- Implant Maintenance: After receiving implants, you'll need to keep the area clean and infection-free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just like natural teeth, so whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Both dentures and bridges are other popular options for replacing teeth, but dental implants come with a number of advantages compared to these treatments. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. Even more importantly, because dental implants are made from titanium, they possess a special property called 'osseointegration': with time, the implant literally fuses with the surrounding bone. This allows the implant to distribute bite pressure in the same way as natural teeth, preventing bone loss and preserving the health of surrounding teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.
How to Care for Dental Implants
After receiving dental implants, you'll need to take good care of them to keep them healthy, but thankfully this is a straightforward process. You'll need to brush and floss your implants daily just like your natural teeth, and you'll also need to visit our office for twice-annual teeth cleanings and check-ups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Frederick Implant Dentist
Think that dental implants may be right for you? We're here to help you find out. Contact us today to learn more about implants, find out how they can help you achieve a better smile, and schedule a consultation at our Frederick dental office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve your dream smile!