Whether you have a single, irreparable tooth or have lost several teeth to dental disease over time, dental implants can be a great restorative option. The treatment not only improves the cosmetics of the smile but also returns full functionality to your bite. Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery is proud to serve the dental implant needs of McLean and other Northern Virginia communities.
Dental implants are a fundamental part of our practice, where we replace single teeth, multiple teeth, and full dental arches. Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons Dr. Timothy Gocke and Dr. Michael McAdams provide high-quality treatment and care to people in McLean, VA who want durable, natural-looking dental restoration.
Why Dental Implants and Why Our Practice?
Dental implants carry many important benefits, such as:
- Improving the appearance of your smile by acting as your own natural teeth
- A lengthy lifespan that lasts for decades when placed by a skilled oral surgeon like Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams.
- Preventing bone loss by restoring the tooth and conserving bone
- Supporting the jaw and the soft tissue of the mouth
- Avoiding TMJ disorders and symptoms such as pain while chewing
- Protecting healthy teeth by keeping them from being worn down faster due to compensation for the lost tooth
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
Almost everyone in the DC Metro can be considered a good candidate for dental implants. However, to truly know if this tooth-replacement system is right for you, the first thing you should do is schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Gocke or Dr. McAdams at Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery. After they perform their exam and talk to you about your oral and general health history, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will achieve your goals.
In general, adults in Northern Virginia will be considered good candidates if they meet the following criteria:
Have good overall health and good oral health
Have adequate jawbone tissue to support dental implants
Have healthy gum tissue, which is free of disease
Are a non-smoker
If Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams determine that you will need pre-surgeries before dental implant placement to prepare your jawbone to receive the implant(s), they will discuss those options with you during your first appointment.
Your Dental Implant Consultation
When you come in for your initial visit, our staff will welcome you, invite you back to a treatment room, and discuss the reasons for your appointment. When McLean patients are good candidates for dental implants, we will review their medical history and take a CT scan of the area. The information from this scan helps Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams plan treatment more accurately and effectively.
After our surgeons review your information, they will conduct an examination and talk with you about your goals with treatment. This may include cosmetics, resolving pain or discomfort, or helping you chew food more naturally. Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams will review your treatment options and recommend the approach they think best address your needs.
As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams can provide several different anesthetic choices to keep you comfortable and relaxed during procedures. Most McLean patients who are receiving dental implants can have treatment with local anesthesia alone, though he also offers IV sedation and recommends that approach for more complex cases.
What to Expect With Your Treatment
Dr. Gocke, Dr. McAdams, and our staff prioritize the safety and comfort of our McLean patients. On the day of your procedure, feel free to wrap up in a warm blanket and watch complimentary Netflix® on a private screen while we work.
Your treatment plan with dental implants will depend on your specific needs:
- During your procedure, Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams may extract teeth that are damaged or diseased.
- They may add bone material or gum tissue to build up the site of a lost tooth so that it can support an implant.
- If you require an implant to replace a front tooth, our surgeons can have a customized temporary crown made to give you a complete and natural-looking smile. If you are replacing an entire arch, you will be given you temporary set of new dentures.
The dental implants Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams place will integrate with the surrounding jaw bone in the months following the procedure. Once the implant has been integrated, the patient visits their restorative dentist, who fabricates a custom-made crown. Because of this process, communication between caregivers is extremely important. Our surgeons collaborate closely with referring dentists to ensure that their McLean patients have more durable and attractive outcomes.
Additionally, Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams have invested in the latest technologies and highest-quality materials for their patients. The technology at Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery allows them to diagnose and plan procedures more precisely and to use exceedingly reliable devices, including dental implants from Zimmer Biomet, one of the best-known implant manufacturers in the world. Coupled with their extensive training and experience, our surgeons can provide patients with predictable and effective results.
Cost of Dental Implants
The cost of dental implants will depend on each patient’s specific needs. During your initial consultation with our surgeons, they will go over the various aspects of your plan and which factors could affect your overall cost. Those factors will include:
- The Number of Dental Implants Placed: Patients who need just one dental implant will have a lower cost than those who require a full mouth replacement.
- Required Pre-surgeries: If your jawbone is not strong enough to effectively hold dental implants in place, our surgeons will perform a bone graft. Likewise, if your gums have deteriorated or if you have a low sinus cavity, you may require a gum graft or sinus lift. Those who require pre-surgeries will experience a higher cost than those who do not.
- Tooth Extractions: If you have teeth that need to be removed prior to dental implant placement, this will also affect your cost.
Rest assured that you will never be surprised by an unexpected cost when you choose the team at Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery. Our surgeons are always upfront and thorough regarding every treatment plan and cost estimate he provides.
Your Aftercare Experience
Before you leave the practice, a staff member will review post-op instructions with you, which may include recommendations like:
- Avoid chewing on your dental implants for 3-4 months. If you do use them to chew, only eat soft foods
- Keep the dental implants clean, but only brush the top surface at first
- The stitches that Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams place will fall out on their own. At that point, you can use a regular, non-electric toothbrush for your teeth, which our office can provide.
Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams see their McLean patients a week after their procedure. Most dental implants need about three months to heal, at which point patients return for a second follow-up appointment. Once they determine that the implants are ready, our surgeons will refer you back to your dentist, who will attach the final crowns and complete the treatment.
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Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Dental Implants Preserve the Jawbone?
Dental implants preserve the jawbone by stimulating bone tissue in the mouth. They take the place of the natural tooth root, providing the jaw with a sturdy base to grow around. The bone will naturally grow to secure the implant. Because of this, dental implants are an especially important tool for McLean patients who do not want to experience a change in facial profile due to bone loss. With dental implants securely rooted in the jaw, the bone has a lower chance of deteriorating, meaning patients have a greater likelihood of maintaining their beautiful smiles for years to come.
How Long Will My Implant Last?
One of the best things about a dental implant(s) is the fact that it is considered a permanent tooth replacement. That means that McLean patients can expect their implant(s) to last a lifetime, as long as it is properly cared for. We recommend dental implant patients care for their new implant(s) in the same way natural teeth should be cared for. Patients should brush their implant(s) twice a day, floss once a day, use an antibacterial mouthwash once a day, and keep biannual cleaning appointments with their general dentist. Taking care of your implant(s) properly will ensure you are able to enjoy full oral function and an aesthetically pleasing smile for years to come!
How Long Should I Wait to Get Dental Implants After an Extraction?
Each patient will have a different scenario depending on their exact needs and condition. For example, for many people, implants can be placed immediately after an extraction. For patients who qualify for this kind of procedure, the whole process takes place at one appointment, greatly reducing the number of visits needed to our McLean office. However, for patients who may be experiencing other oral issues, such as decay or infection, our oral surgeons may want to wait until the mouth heals to place the implants. This reduces the risk of further complications and ensures the implants will be a success.
How Many Teeth Can Be Replaced With Dental Implants?
The good news is that McLean patients can replace one, a few, or all of their teeth through the use of dental implants. Many people who lose a single tooth due to trauma or decay love getting a dental implant because they do not negatively affect surrounding teeth as bridges and crowns do. For patients who are missing several teeth throughout the mouth, dental implants are also great because they can restore eating, chewing, and speaking abilities. Finally, if a patient is missing all their teeth, having a full arch of dental implants is far more functional than dentures.
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
Caring for dental implants is simple and easy. Patients just need to follow standard basic oral hygiene protocols, much like they do with their normal teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help keep the implants and the surrounding teeth and gums clean and healthy. While dental implants cannot get cavities, they can harbor bacteria that can cause decay in adjacent teeth, so keeping them clean is imperative to overall oral health. McLean patients will also want to schedule a dental checkup every six months, so Dr. Gocke or Dr. McAdams can take a look at the implants and make sure there are no issues.
Are Dental Implants as Strong as Natural Teeth?
Dental implants look and function like real teeth because they are implanted into the jawbone, much like the tooth’s natural root. McLean patients will be able to bite and chew just like they did before they lost their real teeth. In fact, because dental implants are made of titanium, many would argue that they are even stronger than natural teeth. Titanium is a very strong metal and can withstand more pressure than a natural tooth. For patients who are still skeptical of the strength of implants, consider the fact that our surgeons only need to use four implants to replace an entire arch of teeth.
What Can Happen if I Don’t Get an Implant?
Men and women in McLean who have a loose, missing or severely damaged or diseased tooth can benefit greatly from receiving a dental implant(s). Dental implants restore oral function to patients and give them the confidence to eat, drink, and speak without risk of embarrassment. Patients who choose not to receive an implant to replace a tooth will lack oral function, aesthetic appeal, and could suffer from future oral health concerns. When a tooth is loose, missing, damaged, or diseased men and women will eventually begin to experience jawbone resorption – meaning the jawbone will shrink and deteriorate. This leads to changes in the facial shape and can cause additional teeth to become loose and even fall out. To protect your oral health and maintain oral function, our surgeons recommend their patients choose a dental implant to replace a missing tooth.
Restore the aesthetics of your smile and the function of your teeth with dental implants. Contact Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery at (703) 388-2805 or online to schedule a consultation in McLean, VA.