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Dental Implants — Fairfax, VA

The Ultimate Tooth
Replacement Solution

Are you among the 120 million adults in the United States who are missing at least one tooth? If so, your quality of life and confidence were likely lost along with it. To restore your smile, you have plenty of tooth replacement options; however, not all closely look and function like a natural tooth. As an alternative to bridges, partials, or dentures, more than 500,000 people per year are turning to dental implants to replace their missing teeth. At MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you fill the empty spaces in your smile with a predictable and reliable solution - dental implants in Fairfax, VA.

An older man with dental implants in Fairfax.

Why Choose MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Diagram of an integrated dental implant in Fairfax

If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants might be an ideal tooth replacement solution. Consisting of a prosthetic titanium root, personalized restoration, and abutment (or connector) that makes them complete, dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth and are more secure than many other tooth replacement options because they surgically implant into your jawbone. Once fully integrated, you can expect your tooth replacement to feel like a natural tooth, which can’t be said for other tooth replacements. Dentists often recommend dental implants over bridges and dentures due to their longevity and long-term oral health benefits.

The Dental Implant Process

Dentist placing restoration for dental implants in Fairfax

MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is happy to perform the entire dental implant placement process in-house. This means that you can have the surgical and restoration phases performed by the same dentist and team members by your side. While you’re always encouraged to give us a call directly to learn more about dental implant placement, you can also get more details by reading about the process below for your convenience!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Woman visiting an implant dentist in Fairfax

Before any phase of treatment can begin, we’ll need to first complete a comprehensive dental implant consultation. This involves examining your mouth to determine the state of your oral health as well as confirm how many teeth you need to have replaced. This number could be higher or lower depending on the health status your existing teeth are in. We’ll also be able to confirm if the volume of your jawbone is thick enough to receive a dental implant. Assuming no preparatory treatments are needed, we’ll schedule your surgery for a later date at our office. This is also a good opportunity to ask us any questions you may have about the procedure.

Dental Implant Surgery

Team of surgeons placing dental implants in Fairfax

During dental implant surgery, our dentists will ensure you feel comfortable ahead of your treatment. They’ll start by treating the surgical area with local anesthetic to ensure no sensations are felt during the actual procedure. For example, when a small incision is created in the gums so that a tiny hole can be made for the implant, you won’t feel any discomfort. At most, you’ll feel a small amount of pressure. Once the hole is created, the implant is placed and the gums will be stitched closed.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Dentist explaining how dental implants work in Fairfax

Once the surgical portion of treatment is completed and the implant has time to heal, a process that takes about four to six months, an abutment can be placed on top. When you come back for your follow-up appointment, we’ll reopen the gum tissue in order to access the implant and the abutment will be attached. After this treatment, your gum tissue will require an additional few weeks of healing before a permanent restoration is placed, whether it’s a crown for a single tooth, a 3-unit bridge for multiple consecutive teeth, or an implant denture.

Delivery of Dental Restoration(s)

Diagram of dental implants in Fairfax holding a denture

When your gums have had a few more weeks to heal, we will be able to confidently attach a permanent restoration onto your implant and make your smile complete. Depending on the number of teeth you were missing, you can receive either a crown, bridge, or denture. All of our restorations are designed with natural-looking ceramics in order to provide your smile with the most esthetically-pleasing appearance possible. We’ll also take the time to measure your bite to ensure its completely even as well as go over essential at-home oral care tips to keep your tooth replacement healthy for as long as possible.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Closeup of an integrated dental implant in Fairfax

Since dental implants replace missing teeth both above and below the gumline, they can dramatically improve your life in ways that traditional dentures or dental bridges simply can’t. Not only can they enhance your appearance, function, and confidence, but they can also boost your health and the wellbeing of your mouth. With so many unique benefits to offer, it’s no wonder that dental implants in Fairfax are considered the ultimate tooth replacement solution by both dentists and patients. Read on to learn some of the most important benefits of dental implants our patients love.

Day-to-Day Benefits

A man with dental implants in Fairfax smiling inside

  • Eat what you like: While traditional tooth replacement options only restore about 25-30% of your natural biting force, dental implants can restore 85-100% over time. This means you can easily and comfortably eat all your favorite foods like apples, steak, hard bread, and anything else on your plate.
  • Drink without worry: Exposing dentures to hot beverages can potentially warp them. However, you don’t have to worry about this at all with dental implants.
  • Improved comfort: Instead of causing tooth sensitivity and gum irritation like other tooth loss solutions, dental implants are anchored into your jawbone for unmatched comfort.
  • Boosted self-esteem: Dental implants are crafted out of beautiful and durable materials, so you can smile confidently knowing that your smile looks completely natural.
  • Enjoy a reliable smile: Thanks to their unique placement in your jaw, your dental implants should never feel loose or slip out of place at embarrassing times.

Health Benefits

An older couple with dental implants in Fairfax smiling

  • Prevent jawbone deterioration: Like the roots of your natural teeth, dental implant posts stimulate blood flow in the jawbone, which strengthens it and prevents it from deteriorating.
  • Preserve your youthful, healthy appearance: When your jawbone shrinks away from tooth loss, your facial bones can shift and give your features a sunken, aged look. Dental implants will help you continue to look healthy and young.
  • Maintain excellent oral health easily: Dental implants can be cared for just as easily as natural teeth, which lowers your risk of oral health issues like tooth decay, oral infections, and gum disease.
  • Keep your teeth and gums healthy: Dental implants don’t rest on your gums like dentures do, so they won’t cause gum sores. Additionally, they don’t rely on your remaining natural teeth like a dental bridge, so they won’t cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Encourage better overall health & wellbeing: There’s a direct connection between good oral health and overall wellbeing. Studies show that keeping your mouth healthy can lower your risk of systemic health conditions like diabetes, memory loss, respiratory infection, and heart disease.

Long-Term Benefits

An older woman with dental implants in Fairfax smiling

  • Live longer: Studies show that your lifespan is linked to how many teeth you have. Those with 20 teeth or more at the age of 70 have a considerably higher chance of living longer than those with less than 20 teeth.
  • Reliable, long-term success: Dental implants boast an amazing 95% success rate, even 10 years after placement. With the proper care, most patients can easily expect to enjoy their dental implants for life.
  • Save time & money on your smile: With dental implants, you don’t need to buy special adhesives, brushes, or cleaners or visit the dentist periodically for adjustments, repairs, or replacements.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

A patient completing treatment for a dental implant in Fairfax

While you might assume only a select number of people can receive dental implants, the truth is that most adults experiencing tooth loss are eligible. As a dental implant dentist in Fairfax, Dr. Murray will need to meet with you first to determine the status of your individual case. Based on his findings, you will likely be recommended for dental implant surgery or a preliminary treatment that is designed to ensure better success when your implants are put into place.

Dental implants boast a 95% success rate. They’re also stronger and provide a more natural function to your bite than many other tooth replacement options, so if you want to find out if you’re eligible to receive these permanent prosthetics, take a look at the information below and contact us to schedule an appointment to get started.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

An older man and woman show off their new smiles with dental implants in Fairfax

Don’t think you’ll be eligible for dental implants? Convinced you’ll be forced to live with traditional dentures or dental bridges the rest of your life? Instead of maintaining this dire outlook, it’s best to schedule a consultation with your implant dentist. Only after a thorough examination will you know for sure where you stand. As we previously mentioned, most adults suffering from some form of tooth loss will be qualified to receive these permanent prosthetics, but Dr. Murray will consider the following factors when crafting your personalized treatment plan:

  • The status of your oral health and if you show signs of tooth decay or gum disease. If so, you’ll likely be required to undergo periodontal therapy and/or tooth extraction if it is severe enough.
  • The status of your overall health and if you are healthy enough to undergo minor oral surgery.
  • The status of your jawbone density. If it appears weak in certain areas, you may need a bone graft to help strengthen the foundation for your new smile.

You will find that dental implants in Fairfax are extremely versatile, allowing you to embrace a fully restored smile no matter how many teeth are missing.

Missing 1 Tooth

A digital image of a single tooth dental implant in Fairfax

Even one missing tooth can wreak havoc on your appearance and self-esteem. Not to mention, your ability to eat and speak can also be hindered. Replacing a single missing tooth requires just one titanium implant, a metal abutment, and a single implant crown. After the implant has fully integrated with your existing bone and soft tissue, a porcelain crown can be attached. We prefer to use ceramic materials to create implant restorations to ensure the best-looking esthetics possible.

Missing Multiple Teeth

A digital image of an implant bridge replacing multiple missing teeth in Fairfax

If you are missing more than one tooth (either consecutive teeth or teeth on opposite sides of the mouth), we can use a pair of dental implants to hold an implant bridge or partial denture. This means we won’t have to modify existing teeth adjacent to the gap in your smile, allowing you to retain more of your natural enamel. Also, your prosthetics will hold your custom restoration in place without having to use metal clasps or clips that attach to regular, healthy teeth.

Missing All Teeth

A digital image of a lower arch with 8 dental implants in Fairfax and a full denture

If you are missing all the teeth in your smile, an implant denture can be combined with a series of implants placed throughout the mouth. What makes dental implants so cost-effective for replacing several or all the teeth in a given arch is the fact that you will not need a dedicated implant for each tooth that is replaced. Also, you won’t be required to buy denture adhesives, special cleaning supplies, or see your dentist for regular adjustments and replacements every few years.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dentist placing restoration onto model of dental implant in Fairfax

As you contemplate how you plan to replace your missing teeth, one of the most prominent factors is likely your budget. Knowing how much you can afford will determine if you choose a more affordable option that presents a smaller upfront cost or one that will be more cost-effective in the long run. The initial cost of dental implants in Fairfax is expensive; however, when you survey the benefits and accumulated costs over the years, you’ll likely discover the upfront investment is worth it. Let the team at MJM Family Dentistry share what you can expect when preparing to pay for a new smile that includes dental implants.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Older woman with dental implants in Fairfax smiling at dentist

The process of receiving dental implants in Fairfax takes time. It is not an overnight process, which is good for someone who is looking for ways to better manage a budget. Since each step of the implant placement process occurs in stages, you can better plan for the cost of each (i.e. initial consultation, surgical placement, abutments, and restoration).

Fortunately, at MJM Family Dentistry, the entire procedure is performed in-house from start to finish. This cuts down on the need for a referral and additional payment to an outside specialist.

Our administrative team will help you navigate your insurance policy and any additional financing you might need to stay within your budget while receiving a more permanent, longer-lasting smile.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

Older woman with dental implants in Fairfax smiling

When meeting with your implant dentist in Fairfax, one of the questions you’ll likely ask is, “Are they worth it?” After reviewing many of the benefits that come with dental implants, you’ll be better equipped to answer this particular question. From implants that are designed to last a lifetime to greater functionality when eating, chewing, and speaking, to better oral health because of the implant’s continued stimulation of your jawbone, you will not find another restorative solution that can offer the same.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Person touching a calculator with model tooth next to it

While some dental insurance companies are beginning to offer coverage for dental implants, many still do not provide adequate (or any) coverage for such a procedure. It is possible that they may cover other aspects of treatment (i.e. pre-implant dental work, initial consultation, restoration), but you will likely need to use another form of payment to cover the cost of your new smile.

At MJM Family Dentistry, we are pleased to work closely with CareCredit, which is a third-party financier who offers low and no interest payment plans to help individuals like yourself stay within your budget.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

a dentist explaining dental implant post-op instructions in Fairfax

Our team can perform the dental implant procedure from start to finish in our office. This means you won’t have to drive between locations or across town to undergo your restoration treatment. After you’ve received your metal post(s), you’ll need to follow our specific aftercare guidelines to ensure you have a comfortable and smooth recovery. Here are the dental implant post-op instructions our team will provide you with before and after your procedure.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

a woman resting per dental implant post-op instructions

One of the most important parts after your oral surgery is to take good care of the blood clot that should be forming around the implant site. This means you’ll want to avoid touching or disturbing the area around your titanium post(s) so that the gums can heal properly. Some of the most common ways to help with this is to:

  • Get plenty of rest (prop your head up with a pillow)
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products
  • Refrain from touching the site with your tongue or fingers
  • Drink water without a straw

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

a person taking medication per dental implant post-op instructions

It’s fairly natural to expect certain types of side effects after undergoing oral surgery, such as intermittent bleeding, mild swelling, and some discomfort. Even so, these symptoms usually go away after a while with proper care. If you’re experiencing any worsening conditions, then you’ll want to notify our team right away for help. Here are a few ways to manage the situation until you see us:

  • To alleviate swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth near the affected area
  • Take over-the-counter or prescribed pain relievers if necessary
  • For bleeding, put careful pressure on the area with a gauze or clean washcloth

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

a bowl of mashed potatoes for dental implant post-op diet

Since you’ll want to leave the surgical site undisturbed while it heals, you’ll need to stick to a softer-food diet. After you’ve fully recovered, you can gradually introduce more solid foods into your daily meals. Until then, try stocking up on the following kinds of foods after your surgery:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soups and broths (that aren’t too hot)

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

a woman brushing her teeth and dental implants

You’ll want to maintain a clean mouth during your recovery to avoid complications and promote a successful treatment. To allow your jawbone to bond properly with your implants, make sure to practice the following oral hygiene tips:

  • Brush twice a day, but be gentle when cleaning around your surgical site
  • Rinse your mouth frequently with salt water, especially after meals, and let the water pour from your mouth instead of spitting it out
  • Avoid using alcoholic mouthwash, which can cause discomfort in the implant site

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

a man smiling after following dental implant post-op instructions

After recovering from your initial dental implant placement, and once your metal posts have successfully bonded with your jawbone, you’ll come back to our office to receive your final restoration. You might feel sensitive when first receiving your new teeth, as your gums will need to get accustomed to them. If you notice any issues like swelling or bleeding, be sure to come to see us so we can help. Once you have your brand-new crown, bridge, or denture, you’ll be free to show off and use your fully rebuilt smile!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

woman in a gray shirt showing off her dental implants in Fairfax

As you contemplate how you plan to replace your missing teeth, one of the most prominent factors is likely your budget. Knowing how much you can afford will determine if you choose a more affordable option that presents a smaller upfront cost or one that will be more cost-effective in the long run. The initial cost of dental implants in Fairfax is expensive; however, when you survey the benefits and accumulated costs over the years, you’ll likely discover the upfront investment is worth it. Let the team at MJM Family Dentistry share what you can expect when preparing to pay for a new smile that includes dental implants.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

toothpaste being put onto a toothbrush

It’s true that dental implants are cavity-proof, but that doesn’t mean that your remaining natural teeth are. Slacking on your oral hygiene can lead to plaque and bacterial buildup in your teeth, implants, and gums. If you’re not careful, infection can spread to your jaw, weakening the bone and loosening your teeth and implants. To keep the risk of this problem low, remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once a day, and rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis.

Eat a Healthy Diet

woman eating a salad

You can chew practically anything you want with dental implants in Fairfax, but you should still limit your sugars and starches. As delicious as they are, they can negatively affect your gum health, which may jeopardize the long-term success of your implants. Instead of stocking your cabinets with chips, candy, and other junk food, incorporate more mouth-healthy alternatives. Leafy greens, dairy products, and lean proteins are all great choices to keep your gums and jaw in great shape so they can give your implants the support they need.

Break Bad Habits

woman sitting at a desk and chewing on a pencil

Do you chew on pens, pencils, or your fingernails when you’re anxious? Is eating ice your favorite way to cool down on a hot day? Have you been trying for years to quit smoking? These habits can all spell disaster for your dental implants. Smoking not only increases your risk of gum disease, but it can make the osseointegration process fail. Chewing on ice or other hard inedible objects can damage or break your implants. Talk to our team about how you can swap these habits out for healthier ones.

Protect Your Dental Implants

person holding a blue mouthguard in their hand

If you play sports or grind your teeth when you sleep, getting a custom mouthguard is worth your while. Your implant dentist in Fairfax can craft this device to fit comfortably over your teeth and implants, shielding them from sudden sports-related injuries or the long-term consequences of untreated teeth grinding.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

man at a checkup with his implant dentist in Fairfax

Even if you’ve replaced all of your natural teeth with implants, preventive dental care is still important. By visiting our office every six months, we can make sure your implants, gums, and other oral structures are still in great shape. If we spot any troublesome signs, we can address them early on – reducing your risk of painful emergencies and high dental bills down the road.

Dental Implant FAQs

person smiling and taking a walk in a park

Dental implants offer a wide array of benefits that we don’t want our patients to miss out on just because they have questions that are left unanswered. Our team at MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry enjoys educating and helping our patients better understand their unique oral health problems and solutions that are available to them. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our answers to the most common questions we receive about dental implants in Fairfax below.

How long will my dental implants last?

Because dental implants are an incredibly modern treatment, there aren’t very many long-term studies out there on their life expectancy. That being said, many studies have seen dental implants last up to 35 years with the proper maintenance, and possibly even longer (we’ll know more whenever we have a chance to conduct even longer-term studies).

The great thing about dental implants is that they’re relatively easy to care for as well. Just like your natural teeth, you’ll need to brush them twice each day for two minutes, floss them daily, and visit your dentist in Fairfax regularly for checkups and cleanings. This will ensure that if any oral problems do arise, they can be treated before they cause permanent damage to your new smile.

Does it hurt to get dental implants?

Before your dental implant surgery, your dentist will make sure that you’re completely numb. For patients who are especially anxious or nervous, we also offer sedation dentistry to help ease your tension. Because of all of the measures that we take, patients aren’t able to feel a thing during their implant placement. Also, many people are able to return to work the day after their surgery!

How can I tell if my dental implant is failing?

Dental implant failure doesn’t happen frequently, but when it does, it’s often due to an infection called peri-implantitis that develops as a result of poor oral hygiene. To prevent this from happening, we recommend quitting using any tobacco products leading up to and after your surgery. It’s also important to regularly brush and floss your teeth to prevent bacteria accumulation in the mouth.

If you notice any of these signs of implant failure, it’s important that you contact your implant dentist in Fairfax as soon as possible:

  • Your implants are moving
  • Severe pain and discomfort
  • Gum recession around the implant
  • Difficulty chewing and biting
  • Swollen gums

Can I still get dental implants if I smoke?

Even if you smoke, you can still get dental implants. However, we let all of our patients know that this can increase your chances of experiencing dental implant failure, and we strongly recommend quitting before your surgery. Smokers often experience dry mouth because nicotine reduces saliva flow. This can not only increase the risk of peri-implantitis, but it can also slow down the healing process after your surgery, preventing the implants from fully integrating with your jawbone, which is crucial to the procedure’s success.

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