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Dental Implants – Falls Church, VA

Experience a Lifelong Solution to Tooth Loss

Woman with healthy smile

In today’s world, there is no better solution for rebuilding strong, lifelike teeth than dental implants. Without a tooth root in place, patients can experience jawbone deterioration and reduced oral health over time. Dental implants prevent this unwanted effect, recreating a new “tooth” that is virtually indistinguishable in look, feel, and aesthetics from the one that came before.

At Purple Plum Dentistry, Dr. Kiani is proud to partner with her in-house periodontist for comprehensive dental implant treatment plans! If you’re in the greater Washington, D.C. area and would like to visit us for an implant consultation, please call today.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Closeup of healthy repaired smile

With the help of our experienced in-house periodontist, Dr. Kiani can perform every stage of dental implant treatment – from initial consultation to surgical placement to the addition of a final, beautifully customized restoration – right here in the office. This means that patients save valuable time that would otherwise be spent traveling to separate practices and can remain with a team they already know and trust throughout the care process.

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

a dentist explaining how dental implants work

The beginning of the dental implant process always involves the initial consultation where our team will examine your oral health and jawbone to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. This usually includes checking if you have sufficient jawbone density, as this will be extremely crucial for the success of your treatment.

Even if you aren’t currently eligible for the process, our team can work with you to prepare your mouth for the process. We can provide services like bone grafts, gum disease treatment, and even tooth extractions before moving forward with rebuilding your missing teeth.

Dental Implant Surgery

an oral surgeon performing the dental implant placement procedure

As mentioned before, instead of needing to visit different locations to undergo certain stages of your treatment plan, our team at Purple Plum Dentistry can perform the entire process in-house. At the beginning of your appointment, our team will administer a local anesthetic so that you’re completely pain-free during your procedure. We could also provide you with sedation dentistry to help you remain calm and comfortable while undergoing your treatment.

Once you’re ready, we’ll make a small incision in your gums to access the jawbone. Your dentist will then place your dental implant(s) in their preplanned positions before suturing your gums closed around them. We’ll then place a protective cover over your post(s) to ensure they’re safe while you rest and heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

a 3D depiction of a dental implant in the jawbone

Your healing period should last around three to six months depending on your health and osseointegration—the process of the implant fusing with the jawbone. This is what will create the natural feeling and incredibly stable structure to support your future restorations for years to come.

Once this stage is complete and you’ve properly recovered, you’ll come back to our office to receive your abutments—tiny metal connector pieces designed to link your restoration to your implant. Then you’ll be sent home so that your gums can heal.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

a patient smiling after receiving her new restorations

After you’ve recovered entirely, you’ll return to us to have your brand-new crown, bridge, or denture placed atop your implant(s). Our team will double-check that your bite is correct and that you’re completely satisfied and confident about your results. If all is well, you’ll be free to go out and make the most of your new and improved smile! 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman in sweater smiling in yellow chair

Over 500,000 people choose dental implants every year because of their natural look, feel, and function. Thanks to their unique surgical placement in the jawbone, dental implants provide benefits that you simply won’t get with traditional replacements like bridges or dentures. Read on to learn more about the amazing benefits of dental implants in Falls Church.

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman smiling while she is about to brush her teeth

  • Diet: Dental implants allow you to eat virtually anything you want! This means you can enjoy a full, nutritious diet that tastes great and keeps you healthy. Plus, when you do want to indulge in sweets and treats, your implants are up to the task.
  • Maintenance: One of the most convenient parts of dental implants is that they can be cared for just like your natural teeth. They can be brushed and flossed like normal, making care and maintenance a breeze compared to dentures that must be removed for cleaning each night.
  • Confidence: Smile with confidence during any social or professional event thanks to dental implants. Rooted firmly in the jaw, you won’t have to worry about your new smile slipping or shifting when eating or speaking.

Health Benefits

Man in plaid shirt smiling with arms crossed

  • Bone health: Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that stimulates the jawbone to keep it healthy and strong after tooth loss. Acting as artificial tooth roots, dental implants keep any remaining teeth in place by strengthening the jaw while allowing you to have a more youthful facial appearance.
  • Oral health: Thanks to the easy maintenance that implants require, this tooth replacement lowers your risk of oral health issues. Plus, implants promote better oral hygiene by filling in gaps in your smile while keeping any remaining teeth aligned.
  • Overall health: Studies show a direct link between oral and overall health. Specifically, gum disease can increase the risk of serious problems like heart attacks, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and more. However, implants reduce the risk of common dental issues like gum disease, giving you better overall health in the process.

Long-Term Benefits

Older couple smiling together while sitting outside

  • Predictability: With a success rate of 95% even after 10 years, dental implants are incredibly predictable. While they do require surgery, this gives you peace of mind and confidence going into the process.
  • Durability: With proper care, dental implants can last for over 3 decades or even the rest of your life! Made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material, implants become a permanent part of the body. Just remember to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit our implant dentist in Falls Church regularly. You can also use nonalcoholic mouthwash to clean hard to reach areas of the mouth.
  • Cost: While dental implants tend to have a higher price compared to other options, they are actually a more cost-effective tooth replacement in the long run. Traditional dentures must be replaced every 5 to 7 years, however implants can last for decades to come. This will help you save money by avoiding additional replacements. Plus, they keep you healthier, preventing additional dental care and the cost that comes with it.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Smiling woman in dental chair

Whether you have a single gap in your smile or an entire arch of natural teeth has been lost, dental implants are a versatile and transformative solution that can suit most patients. We will work with you closely to determine the ideal restoration for your unique needs. Keep reading below to learn more about your options:

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Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Woman smiling in the dental chair

Most healthy adults are good candidates for dental implants. Here are the most important criteria we look at for each case:

  • Good Overall Health: Placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, so you need to be healthy enough to undergo a minor surgery.
  • Great Oral Health: Things like cavities and gum disease can increase your risk of dental implant failure. Any oral health issues need to be addressed and eliminated ahead of time.
  • Strong Jawbone: You must have an adequate jaw to successfully support dental implants.

If you don’t make a good candidate for dental implants right away, this doesn’t mean that they are out of the question in the future. Many patients need to complete preliminary treatments, like tooth extractions, gum disease treatment, or bone grafting, before they are able to get dental implants. We can help to get these procedures scheduled and then get back on track for your dental implants.

Missing One Tooth

Digital illustration of a single dental implant

When rebuilding an individual tooth with a state-of-the-art dental implant, we will pair it with an all-ceramic dental crown. The crown will be painstakingly designed and customized so that it fits right in alongside the rest of your teeth. The final result is so seamless that it becomes easy to forget which “tooth” is supported by the dental implant!

Missing Multiple Teeth

Digital illustration of an implant bridge

Our recommendations for the restoration of multiple dental implants/missing teeth will depend on their locations. For teeth in different spots along the arch, individual dental implants topped with dental crowns are likely still the optimal solution. However, lost teeth that once appeared in a row may be better suited to an implant-retained dental bridge. This type of prosthetic is anchored securely in place within your smile through the use of two dental implants, which are positioned in the jaw on either side of the gap. The final result feels sturdy, appears lifelike, and will help you regain your full biting function.

Missing All Teeth

Digital illustration of implant dentures

Even significant tooth loss can be overcome with dental implants! Several options are available for patients in need:

  • Implant Dentures : Full and partial dentures can be reliably anchored on a number of strategically placed dental implants for optimal, cost-effective coverage.
  • All-On-4 : As the name implies, All-On-4 dental implants can replicate an entire arch of attractive, functional teeth with the support of just four placed implants.
  • Miniature Dental Implants : If the patient does not have enough healthy jawbone to support the placement of traditional implants, “mini implants” are an excellent alternative that can successfully retain prosthetics in a healthy, lasting way.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

dental team member explaining the cost of dental implants in Falls Church to a patient

No two smiles are alike, and as such, there are several factors that can contribute to the cost of dental implants in Falls Church, like the number of teeth that need to be replaced and whether any preparatory procedures are necessary. During an initial consultation, we will assess your personal circumstances and provide a projected estimate for dental implant treatment. Our goal is to help you feel 100% confident about your decision to replace your lost teeth with dental implants!

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Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

dentist showing a patient their dental X-rays

Some patients must undergo preliminary treatments before they make good candidates for dental implants. These procedures – which include tooth extractions, gum disease therapy, and bone grafting – add to your overall treatment costs. However, they improve the chances of long-term dental implant success. Plus, they’re often at least partially covered by dental insurance.

Dental implant surgery also has its own cost, which is normally influenced by the location of the implants within the mouth as well as the level of sedation required. Fortunately, at Purple Plum Dentistry, our in-house periodontist and implant dentist in Falls Church can perform this procedure right here in our office. That way, you won’t receive a separate bill from a different practice.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

Your total cost of treatment will depend on the brand and material used to create the implant posts as well as the abutments. Different makes and models have different advantages and prices, and we’ll always be transparent about why we recommend one type over another.

The number of implants you need will also affect the cost. Not only do you have to pay for the implant posts, but the restorations that go on top of them. Naturally, an implant denture costs more than an implant bridge, which costs more than a single implant and crown.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

smiling woman in a gray shirt crossing her arms

Dental implants are an investment of time and money, but the lifelong benefits they will provide are well worth it. While dentures and bridges are cheaper initially, they have to be repaired or replaced every five to ten years at most, resulting in higher dental care costs in the long run. Because dental implants in Falls Church can last a lifetime, they are a one-time investment that should pay for itself over the years.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dental insurance benefits claims form

Most dental insurance plans do not cover the implants themselves, but they often mitigate the cost of the restorations, anesthesia, preliminary work, etc. That said, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule, so check with your insurance provider before making any final decisions. Our team works with most major dental insurance carriers, so we’ll gladly help you with the paperwork.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

smiling dentist holding a pink piggy bank

If you don’t have insurance, we can still help you afford dental implants through our in-house membership plan. For a flat lifetime activation fee and a small monthly fee from then on, you can get a 15% discount on most of our services, as well as FREE preventive care and one necessary emergency exam per year. Another option is CareCredit financing, which breaks up your treatment cost into low monthly payments based on credit approval.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

patient admiring his new dental implants in the mirror

Because they essentially become the roots of your new teeth, dental implants have the potential to last for several decades. Many dental implant patients are even able to keep them for the rest of their lives! However, they’re only able to last that long if you take proper care of them. Fortunately, dental implant care in Falls Church is not that different from maintaining natural teeth. Here are some simple tips for making your dental implants last as long as possible.

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Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

toothpaste being put on a toothbrush

It’s true that dental implants cannot develop cavities, but your remaining natural teeth definitely can. Plus, your gums are susceptible to peri-implantitis, an infection that could cause your implants to fail. To prevent this, brush both your real and artificial teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily. Adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can also minimize the risk of dental health problems.

Eat a Healthy Diet

woman eating a salad

Again, just because dental implants in Falls Church are cavity-proof doesn’t mean that sugary snacks can’t do harm. Bacteria in your mouth break down sugars and starches that you eat. Then, they leave behind acidic waste that can erode tooth enamel (leading to cavities) and irritate gum tissue (leading to periodontal disease). Try to substitute some of your sugary and starchy snacks for mouth-healthy alternatives like fresh produce, leafy greens, and dairy products.

Break Bad Habits

close-up of a person with a bottle cap in their mouth

Bad oral habits like smoking, nail-biting, chewing on ice, and using your teeth to open bottles or packaging can all be hard to quit. However, they can all too easily result in dental emergencies for both your implants and your natural teeth. Not only can these situations be incredibly painful, but they can cost a pretty penny to treat. Protect the investment you made in your smile by breaking habits that can damage your implants.

Protect Your Dental Implants

person holding a blue mouthguard in their hand

Do you like to play sports? Do you often wake up with a sore jaw from grinding your teeth at night? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you’d do well to ask our team about a customized mouthguard. These oral appliances fit comfortably over your teeth, shielding them from the potential damage of sports-related injuries and chronic teeth grinding.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

elderly man at his dental checkup

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping up with your routine dental checkups and cleanings. Even if you don’t have any natural teeth left, these appointments are still important. They give your implant dentist in Falls Church an opportunity to check for signs of decay, gum disease, and problems with your implants. That way, we can treat these issues early on, potentially preventing dental implant failure or other oral health conditions.

Dental Implant FAQs

Woman surrounded by question marks holding her finger to her mouth

Some people find dental implants too good to be true at first, but the reality is they are by far the best tooth replacement method out there and are proven to mimic teeth closer than any other treatment! Purple Plum Dentistry is always happy to answer your questions in great detail to ensure you’re feeling comfortable about your future care, so feel free to give them a look below ahead of your visit. If your question is not mentioned, please give us a call and we’ll make sure to keep it in mind when you visit in-person!

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The lifespan of a dental implant largely depends on the patient’s willingness to take care of it, just like natural teeth. However, they are designed to last for 30 years and longer when taken proper care of and regularly examined by a dentist. Additionally, it’s quite common for a dental implant to last for the rest of your life. This level of reliability and longevity is the main reason why so many patients and dentists alike choose dental implants to replace any number of teeth, especially compared to traditional bridges and dentures.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Most patients with good oral health can expect their dental implant treatment to be incredibly successful, especially when placed by a qualified professional. If we believe that you have low jawbone density, an issue that can reduce the success rate of your implant, we will make sure to have it addressed ahead of time to improve the procedure’s success rate and make it safer. Additionally, those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, cancer, or other medical conditions that make oral surgery and the healing process risky will need to mention this to our team beforehand.

Am I Too Young to Get Dental Implants?

For most people, their jaw is not fully developed until young adulthood. We do not place dental implants if the jaw is not finished growing as it could negatively impact bone development and trigger complications. As a rule of thumb, we do not place dental implants in patients who are under the age of 18. Even then, some patients’ jaws do not develop until their early 20s. This can also be influenced by the sex of the patient as men’s jaws usually take longer to develop compared to women.

Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?

In most cases, patients only need to take one to two days off of work following their implant surgery. However, the number of days off we recommend can change based on the complexity of your tooth replacement procedure and your job. If you work an office job that involves mostly sitting, it likely won’t be a problem. However, those with strenuous jobs that require heavy exercise and full-body movement may want to take more time off. Strenuous activity can negatively affect the body’s ability to heal. Try scheduling your surgery on a Thursday, Friday, or other day that fits into your schedule and gives you multiple days to take it easy and focus on healing.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

While it is possible to receive dental implants if you are a smoker, we strongly advise you to quit entirely. Not only can using tobacco (whether it’s smoking, chewing, or vaping) put you at risk for many health conditions, but it can interfere with the implant’s ability to heal and fuse with the jawbone. Smoking can also lead to dry socket, a painful condition that occurs when the newly formed blood clot on the implant site loosens and falls off.

We recommend that you quit using tobacco at least two weeks ahead of your surgery, then wait to resume using tobacco at least two to three months after that. The best thing you can do is use your treatment as an opportunity to quit permanently.

Do Dental Implants Feel Natural?

After your dental implant is healed completely, it should feel like a natural part of your mouth. This is because the implant has fully fused with the jawbone. However, since the implant has no nerve endings, any sensations you do feel will be coming from the gum tissue. Typically, these sensations include hot or cold temperatures and pressure.

What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?

Dental implant failure is extremely uncommon, but it can happen as a result of failed osseointegration or peri-implantitis, which is a form of gum disease that damages the bone and gum tissue supporting the implant. If the implant never begins to fuse properly with the bone to begin with, it’s considered failed osseointegration. The good news is peri-implantitis can be largely avoided when you practice sufficient oral hygiene. Our office also makes sure your jawbone can properly receive a dental implant ahead of time to reduce your risk of failure as much as possible. Other potential causes of implant failure include tobacco use, teeth grinding or clenching, or a preexisting condition that negatively impacts the body’s ability to heal (such as diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, or an autoimmune disorder).

What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford Dental Implants?

Dentures and dental bridges do cost less on average compared to dental implants, but they won’t provide the same benefits nor help you avoid the same consequences that come with tooth loss. This makes dental implants worth the investment in the long-term. If you have a dental insurance plan, our office will look it over to see if it can cover certain aspects of your care. If you have an FSA or HSA, it may offer some reimbursement. We’re also happy to inform you on third-party financing solutions like CareCredit.