3/15/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

After undergoing tooth extraction, it is critical that patients closely follow their oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions. This not only makes for a quicker, more comfortable recovery process, it can prevent difficulties from occurring during this time. However, even patients who keep these directions perfectly may experience complications such as dry socket.

What Causes Dry Socket?
Dry socket is a fairly common condition, particularly following wisdom tooth extraction. After this procedure, blood clots form as part of the healing process, covering exposed bone and nerves to protect these delicate tissues from damage and infection. However, if these blood clots are dislodged, bacteria and debris may enter and become trapped in the empty socket. Without sufficient cleaning and treatment, infection occurs, causing patients severe pain as well as difficulty with chewing and swallowing. 

Symptoms of dry socket include:
  • Severe pain in the days following extraction
  • Visible bone tissue
  • Partial or complete blood Loss at extraction site
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

How to Treat and Prevent Dry Socket
In order to protect your healing smile, it is important that patients closely follow post-surgery instructions from their oral surgeon. At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, Dr. Snehal Patel recommends the following:
  • Avoid tobacco use: Smoking a cigarette can dislodge the newly forming blood clot. In addition, chemicals in tobacco are known to disrupt proper healing and can contaminate the extraction site, triggering development of dry socket.
  • Avoid touching the site: Poking the empty socket with your tongue or touching it with your fingers can lead to infection and, subsequently, dry socket.
  • Don’t use a straw: The suction from using a straw may dislodge blood clots, leading to dry socket.

Treatment for dry socket is often fairly straight forward. To remove debris and infected tissue, our oral surgeon will flush out the socket before covering the area with a medicated gel or paste. Pain medication may also be provided to alleviate discomfort. Typically, symptoms clear up within five to six days of treatment. At your follow-up visit, Dr. Patel will examine the extraction area, checking for the development of a new blood clot and improved healing. 

Experiencing Dry Socket? Call our Oral Surgeon in NOVA Immediately
Left untreated, dry socket can quickly compromise both your oral and overall wellbeing. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with this condition, call our oral surgery practice immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. 



3/8/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

While some may find newly developing wisdom teeth a mere nuisance, few fully recognize the lasting impact third molars can have on the health of your entire smile. In particular, patients with partially impacted teeth are at risk of developing pericoronitis, an inflammation of the soft tissues around the tooth.

What is Pericoronitis?
When wisdom teeth develop, some third molars may be able to partially emerge through the gums. However, because the tooth does not fully push through the gums, partial emergence tends to create a gum flap over the tooth. Food and bacteria are often trapped beneath the gum flap, causing soft tissue inflammation as well as exposing the new tooth to plaque and tartar development and leading to the development of pericoronitis. 

Like any other oral infection, this soft tissue infection can seriously compromise a patient’s oral health, spreading to the blood stream and lymph nodes if left untreated. As a result, if you notice any of the following symptoms, be sure to call you general dentist for an appointment. 
  • Pain
  • Gum swelling, changes in color, tenderness
  • Infection
  • Persistent Bad Taste
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Treating Pericoronitis
Treatment for this condition depends on the extent of infection. In cases were the irritation is isolated to the area around the wisdom tooth and where the tooth is likely to fully emerge without damaging neighboring teeth, some dentist may recommend a more comprehensive hygiene plan until the molar has fully developed. In other cases, the arch may not have enough room to support a new molar, requiring wisdom tooth extraction. 

For patients experiencing severe pericoronitis, tooth extraction followed by a course of antibiotics may be the only way to restore oral health to the smile. In these instances, your general dentist may coordinate treatment with an experienced oral surgeon to ensure predictable extraction and lasting results. 

Wisdom Teeth Extraction and Treatment in Lorton
At the Northern Virginia oral surgery practice of Dr. Snehal Patel, our goal is to provide patients with lasting oral health. If you are experiencing pericoronitis symptoms like painful or swollen cheeks or gums, call Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery today to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon. We’ll discuss your treatment options and find the best way to help you regain a healthy smile. 



2/24/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

While easily prevented, gum disease can leave a lasting negative impact on the rest of your smile. In more advanced cases, periodontitis can cause teeth loss, compromising the long-term function, aesthetics, and health of the dentition.

For patients suffering from advanced gum disease, treatment and restoration go hand in hand. In Northern Virginia, Lorton-Springfield oral surgeon Dr. Snehal Patel offers dental implants as a long-term restorative solution for people who have lost one or more teeth to gum disease. By coordinating treatment and restoration care closely with your general dentist and periodontist, our oral surgeon in Springfield helps patients reverse the damage caused by advanced periodontitis and restore function to their smile.

Why Consider Dental Implants after Gum Disease
Treating advanced gum disease requires a multi-faceted approach. In cases where infection has caused tooth loss or bone deterioration, treating and removing infected tissue is just one part of the solution. While some may opt for traditional tooth replacement, dentures and bridges do not fully address bone loss, opening to door for further dental issues in the future.

Dental implants are purposely designed to functionally mimic natural teeth and interact with bone tissue just like natural teeth roots. As a result, implants stimulate bone regrowth, preventing further tissue resorption and protecting the overall structure of the jaw. Since most patients with weakened jaw bones often require bone grafting prior to implant placement, this oral surgery further reinforces the jaw bone and helps improve overall oral health.

Above the gums, dental implants serve as a sterile tooth replacement, protecting dental alignment and restoring missing teeth without compromising neighboring healthy teeth. While patients recovering from gum disease do have a higher risk of implant failure, comprehensive gum disease therapy before implant placement and vigilant oral hygiene following implant treatment can enhance the longevity of your new restoration.

Dental Implants in Lorton and Springfield

During your implant treatment, our goal is to ensure long-lasting, predictable results. By relying on the latest dental technology and coordinating treatment with your dentist, our oral surgeon is able to provide patients with comprehensive care. For more information about dental implants following gum disease treatment, call or visit Dr. Patel today.



2/10/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

At Dr. Snehal Patel’s practice, advanced dental technology allows our Springfield oral surgeon to provide patients with precise, long-lasting dental solutions. Guided dental implant surgery is one more way we help patients regain full dental function. 

What is Guided Surgery?
Guided implant surgery is based on in-depth images of your entire smile using a cone beam scan. The resulting scans are then used to create a 3D model of the dentition and jaw bone, which allows our oral surgeon to create a virtual surgical guide for future implant placement. During the procedure, this guide is used to preprogram the instruments used to place the implants, ensuring the post is placed in t
the optimal location and at the right depth for best results.

Advantages of Guided Surgery
The use of a digitized system for implant dentistry provides a number of benefits to patients before, during, and after their treatment.  

Prior to treatment, the creation of a personalized surgical guide ensures that your implant treatment is as customized to your smile as possible. The comprehensive measurements used to create the guide allow for future implants to be placed precisely and strategically, creating best support for restorations while protecting the overall structure of the smile.

Traditional implant placement requires a good deal of guesswork during the actual surgery; dentists and oral surgeons manually placing implants the traditional way must be careful to drill into bone just enough to place the implants without causing damage to the overall bone structure. On the other hand, if the implant is not placed deep enough, there is an elevated risk of implant failure and patients may not enjoy full use of their new restoration.

With guided surgery, the depth and size of the bone is already predetermined, eliminating the risk of over- or under-drilling. During implant placement, the surgical guides help minimize the risk of damage to other important components of the smile, including the nerves, sinuses, and blood vessels that surround bone.  Ultimately, this precision and accuracy leaves patients with higher chances of successful implant treatment and predictable results.

Guided Implant Surgery in Northern Virginia

At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, we offer a number of dental implant options and work with local general dentists to ensure patients receive the best care possible. To learn more about the advantages of guided implant surgery and explore your dental implant options, call our locations in Springfield and Lorton or schedule a complimentary dental implant consultation online



1/23/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

The alignment of your teeth does more than influence the look of your smile, in fact our teeth guide the way we bite. An improper bite, or malocclusion, can cause serious dental health issues, ranging from cavities to gum disease. Traditionally, orthodontics prove to be an effective means of straightening teeth. However, in some instances conditions in the jaw do not permit lasting results even with orthodontics. In these particular instances, orthognathic or corrective jaw surgery may be recommended.

Why Choose Jaw Surgery for Misalignment?
By itself, orthodontics is ideal for correcting dental misalignment, either caused by trauma or by improper bone development. However, unless patients undergo proactive Phase I and Phase II orthodontic therapy, braces can fail to fully treat the jaw, which determines tooth alignment. Until treated, skeletal jaw misalignment constantly works against orthodontic therapy, preventing patients from enjoying a fully functional and uniform dentition. Potential side effects of serious jaw misalignment range from temporomandibular joint disorder to sleep apnea.

In instances of severe jaw malocclusion, jaw surgery is among the most effective, permanent methods of correcting the bite. This treatment is carefully planned after extensive diagnostic imaging and in coordination with an orthodontic specialist. By targeting the cause of misalignment at the source, patients are able to enjoy improved bite function as well as successful orthodontic results with a lowered risk of alignment relapse. Over the years studies have shown that this combination treatment yields positive, lasting results for patients with serious jaw malocclusion.

Coordinating Care in Lorton
At our oral surgery practices in Lorton and Springfield, Dr. Patel and his team are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive surgical solutions that yield lifelong results. By working closely with your orthodontist and general dentist, our oral surgeon is able to develop a multi-faceted treatment plan that works for your unique smile. Throughout the surgical process, Dr. Patel remains on hand to ensure proper recovery and results.

Learn More Today

Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery is your home for advanced oral surgeries in Northern Virginia. To learn more about our treatment options, contact our team to schedule your consultation. We welcome referrals from dentists throughout the community. 



1/16/2017 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is caused by jaw malocclusion, or misalignment combined with the subsequent tightness of connected muscles. While the condition is typically addressed through the use of physical therapy and orthotics, some cases of misalignment may not be sufficiently treated through these traditional methods. In these cases, corrective jaw surgery may be the best solution.

What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Also known as orthognathic surgery, this type of oral surgery focuses on correcting the structure of the jaw. As a number of conditions stem from jaw position, corrective surgery can be applied to a number of dental issues, ranging from severe over and underbites to sleep apnea. In the case of treating TMD, corrective jaw surgery allows our oral surgeon to precisely target the cause of the condition, poor jaw alignment.

Causes of Jaw Misalignment
Facial trauma can certainly be a contributing factor to jaw misalignment, additionally, developmental issues are a common reason behind malocclusion. Incorrect skeletal development can have a long-term impact on the jaw, causing the teeth to grow incorrectly. Over time, misalignment causes unequal wear on teeth, accelerating dental deterioration and leaving patients vulnerable to cavities and decay. Jaw malocclusion also leads to increased pressure on the jaw joint, thereby triggering the characteristic symptoms of TMJ disorder (TMD).  

Traditionally, treating TMD requires a plan that incorporates a combination of oral devices, orthodontics, and dental restorations. While some cases of severe skeletal misalignment can be corrected with these traditional methods, these treatment options may not fully address to root cause of malocclusion. As corrective jaw surgery is specifically tailored to each unique patient, orthognathic surgery is able to directly target and permanently correct the cause of malocclusion. In the long run, corrective jaw surgery is able to alleviate the symptoms of TMD and ultimately allows patients to enjoy healthful dental function.

Planning Corrective Jaw Surgery
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, orthognathic surgery starts with an in-depth assessment of the jaw, bite, and teeth. Using advanced diagnostic tools, Lorton oral surgeon Snehal Patel evaluates the condition of the smile and plots a strategic surgical plan. Following surgery, our experienced dental specialist works closely with your general dentist to ensure successful recovery and improved oral health well into the future.


If you’re experiencing serious symptoms of TMD, including migraines, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or excessive dental wear, contact our Lorton oral surgeon today. Together, Dr. Patel can help you regain full function of your smile. 



12/20/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

In recent years, modern dentistry has sought to incorporate new developing technologies into current treatment options as a means of improving treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, one way we encourage better treatment results is through the use of 3D printing to create personalized surgical guides for dental implant treatments.

Why Use 3D Printing
Proper implant placement is critical to the longevity of dental implants. While it is possible to place implants without surgical guides, the traditional process of implant placement comes with higher risks, including implant failure.

To help ensure successful implant treatment, most experienced oral surgeons will use panoramic and CBCT imaging to create 3D digital models of the dentition and generate computerized surgical guides. However, there are certain drawbacks to this technology. As guides must be physically made in a lab, use of surgical guides can add time to the overall treatment. The cost of surgical guides also increases the cost of overall implant treatment, making it potentially prohibitive to certain patients.

3D printing presents patients with the opportunity to enjoy high quality implant placement without these traditional guide limitations. Similar to traditional surgical guides, 3D printed guides are customized based on advanced imaging and modelling. However, rather than having to wait for a lab to manufacture the final surgical guides, Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery has in-office 3D printers, allowing our team to generate precise replicas of your jaw in our office quickly and efficiently.

At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, our goal is to ensure patients are in full control of their treatment from start to finish. With this precise replica, Dr. Patel is able to walk patients through their treatment and give them a realistic perspective of their prospective results.


To learn more about this treatment option, we encourage dental implant patients to call and schedule their implant consultation with our Lorton oral surgeon today. 



12/6/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, our goal is to provide patients with long-lasting dental solutions. To do so, we frequently incorporate modern technologies into our treatment planning strategies, particularly for patients receiving advanced dental care such as dental implants. One such technology we regularly utilize is the TRIOS scanner, an innovative alternative to traditional impressions known for improving patient experience and treatment results.

TRIOS – Enhancing Patient Experiences
On its own, implant preparation and placement is a lengthy process. Even after the implant has been placed into the jaw, patients must return to have additional scans and impressions taken of their smile in order to create a restoration that fits in perfectly with the rest of the smile. Unfortunately, the process of taking traditional impressions can be less than comfortable. Many patients find the “dental goop” to be difficult to tolerate, leading to incorrect impressions that require patients return in order to achieve an accurate model of the arch. Inaccurate impressions can also lead to inaccurate restorations, compromising the final look of the implant crown or bridge.

TRIOS eliminates many of these difficulties. Using 3D scanning technology, TRIOS takes digital images of each tooth, arch, and occlusion, creating an accurate digital model of the entire dentition. Our oral surgeon can manipulate the digital model through the TRIOS software, creating a precise implant restoration that will fit in naturally with the rest of your smile.

As the scan only takes moments to create a comprehensive and accurate model, TRIOS limits how much time patients spend in the chair. The intraoral camera is small and unobtrusive, making it ideal for patients with small mouths as well as those who have a hard time tolerating traditional impression material. Ultimately, TRIOS allows patients to enjoy an enhanced experience and improved restoration results.

Learn More about TRIOS Today

Our mission is to provide patients with the best care possible at every phase of their oral surgery or dental implant treatment. With TRIOS scanning, our team is able to ensure lasting, natural looking results. Contact our offices in Springfield and Lorton today to schedule your consultation with our oral surgeon. 



11/18/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Like any other medical procedure, choosing the right oral surgeon can be a difficult process. Individuals looking for advanced surgical care should ask the following questions when vetting potential oral surgeons for your upcoming treatment.

What is their experience?
When it comes to oral surgery, training and experience are especially important factors to consider. Rather than simply picking out an oral surgeon, look for a dental professional who has extensive experience treating your specific needs. Residency and clinical experience can also be indicative of an oral surgeon’s specialty focus, providing patients with the peace of mind that their experienced professional has experience performing similar procedures.

Is the surgeon a member of any professional associations?
Professional dental societies, associations, and continuing education courses provide critical opportunities for oral surgeons to stay on top of the latest treatment techniques and dental technologies. Some societies, including the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery require members to meet certain thresholds of continuing education hours per year as well as pass intensive certification examinations. With these strict regulations in mind, look for a board certified oral surgeon.

Do they accept referrals?
Not every oral surgeon accepts walk in patients. Many offer their services on a referral basis, working with nearby dentists and other professionals to provide care to patients. As a result, it is worthwhile to check with your general dentist and see whether they have any recommendations.

Do they accept my insurance?
There are a number of factors that determine the cost of care. Between the surgeon’s fees, cost of equipment and anesthesia, as well as pre-treatment diagnostic x-rays or treatments, the expenses of undergoing oral surgery can become expensive very quickly. While dental insurance may cover some of the treatment process, patients may still be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses. Searching for an oral surgeon in network with your insurance plan or one who offers in-office financing options can help alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with planning for oral surgery.

Can the surgeon be reached easily?
Even if the surgery was performed perfectly, accidents and emergencies can still happen during the recovery phase. If your surgeon frequently travels between practices across a large region, it may be more difficult to receive appropriate care when needed. Consider an oral surgeon’s availability before pursuing treatment.

Looking for an Oral Surgeon? Contact our Practice Today

With locations in Springfield and Lorton, our practice offers a wealth of advanced oral surgery options in state-of-the-art settings. To learn more about our treatments, schedule your consultation with our Northern Virginia oral surgeon today. 



11/4/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

There are certain scenarios in which seeking the experience of a specialized dental professional may provide greater long-term results. Some of these scenarios include:

Impacted Tooth Extraction
Unlike simple extraction, in which a damaged tooth is simply removed, the process of extracting an impacted tooth is a more complex process. Depending on the placement and size of the tooth, gum and bone tissue may need to be removed in order to expose the compromised tooth, a procedure oral surgeons are well-trained to perform. Combined with experience, and in-office sedation, patients can remain comfortable and relaxed during treatment.

Jaw Fracture or Damage
In addition to dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to undergo additional courses as well as surgical residencies. This extensive training goes beyond what is covered in dental school, allowing oral surgeons to gain an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy. As a result, oral surgeons are well-equipped to treat jaw damage and trauma. In fact, the American College of Surgeons recommends that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon be present when treating severe and complex facial trauma patients.

Bone Reinforcement Procedures
When completed properly, bone grafting, sinus augmentation, and ridge modification procedures can reinforce the health and function of deteriorating jaw bones, thus, protecting facial structure and improving oral health. Advanced osseous, or bone, surgeries require the unique touch that oral surgeons provide.

Dental Implant Placement
Dental implant success hinges on the strategic placement of implant posts into the jaw bone. The advanced training of oral surgeons provides these dental specialists with the advantage when it comes to successful implant integration and restoration. They know the ins and outs of the jaw, making for a successful dental implant planning and implementation.

Oral Cancer Biopsies
In addition to surgical procedures, patients may also be recommended to an oral surgeon in the event of oral abnormality. This can include instances of benign or malignant tumors of the face or mouth. Beyond conducting tissue biopsies, your oral surgeon may coordinate treatment with an oncologist and your general dentist in the event oral cancer is detected.

Consult our Oral Surgeon Today

At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, we work closely with general dentists and other healthcare providers throughout Northern Virginia to provide comprehensive oral and maxillofacial surgeries. For more information about our available services, contact your nearest location today. 



10/31/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

In Lorton and Springfield, oral surgery is in the experienced hands of Snehal Patel, DDS, MD. He and his team work tirelessly to provide the best care possible to their cities and communities. Through continued education, dedicated years of practice, and community service, Lorton Springfield Dental has become a one-stop shop for anyone’s oral surgery and dental implant needs.

Any success we experience here is due to our customer commitment and high quality treatments. We strive to better ourselves in delivering efficient, precise procedures that put patient comfort first. Gentle treatments and advanced technology equip us to serve. From bone grafting and sinus augmentation to dental implant placement and wisdom teeth extraction, we are prepared to put patients on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile.

A Leader in the Oral Surgery Field and the Community
Dr. Patel gives much of his time serving communities beyond just Lorton and Springfield. He has been to Ecuador and Columbia to participate with Healing the Children, and aided children suffering cleft lips and palates. He completed his dental and physician education at Columbia University, and finished his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He maintains a lead in the oral surgery industry with his membership to the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.  

Proof of our commitment is the many awards we have earned. We won the Patient’s Choice Award from 2012-2014, and Dr. Patel has won Compassionate Doctor Recognition and an On-Time Doctor Award (2014). Our care, the best in Lorton and Springfield, helps patients feel relaxed and safe.

Contact Lorton Springfield Dental Today

For care that will repair the jaws and gums and restore the confidence of a long-lasting smile, call us today. We want nothing more than to deliver quality service that treats each patient with genuine care. We look forward to hearing from you!



10/26/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Taking care of oral health is more than just good dental care at home. It also including practicing good, consistent hygiene habits and making wise choices daily to protect the longevity of the jaw. Although brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to protect the smile, our oral surgeon in Northern Virginia has some tips that can improve oral health all the way down to the bone.

Good Habits Enforce a Healthy Smile
The jaw is a sensitive machine, and it’s important to practice good habits to reverse the effects of normal wear and tear as well as combat the effects of negative habits. Here are some good habits to follow for improved jaw health:

Eat and Drink Healthy: Drinking water as opposed to sodas, coffee, or alcoholic beverages will leave the mouth cleaner. Sugary and alcoholic beverages encourages bacteria to grow in the teeth and gums. If left alone, this bacteria will decay the teeth and jaw. Eating healthy foods will also contribute to the cleanliness of the teeth and jaws, strengthening the jaw muscles to do exactly what they’re supposed to. Chewing gum is not recommended, as it puts undue stress on the jaw muscles.

Besides eating and drinking, it’s important to protect the jaw from other potential diseases. The chances of developing oral cancer when smoking or chewing tobacco are significantly higher, and cutting down on these habits will reduce inflammation and gum disease in the mouth. Nicotine and alcohol have adverse effects on the mouth, and research has even found that e-cigarettes and vaping aren’t good for the mouth either.

Relax Facial Muscles with Treatment: Many Americans suffer from TMD, where the jaw muscles are tight and do not function properly. This is often due to bruxism, or teeth grinding. This can happen unconsciously at night, or during the day. Bruxing at night wears down teeth, leading to fractures and cracks that can have long-term effects on the smile. The grinding motion also makes the muscles tight from the jaw to the neck.

Treatments for bruxism include oral appliances like night guards, which will protect the teeth from breaking and force the jaws to relax at night time. These are also important for sports and activities where the jaws and teeth can get damaged. Many oral surgeons prescribe the mouth guards and have them custom-fit to each patient’s mouth.

Call Lorton, Springfield Oral Surgeons for Great Jaw Health

Call one of our offices today to receive an examination for your smile. If you are experiencing tight jaw muscles, or your mouth feels uncomfortable, please contact us today. 



10/21/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Although it sounds intimidating, receiving a bone graft is a simple procedure that has many benefits. Typically, individuals require bone grafts when their jaw isn’t in a condition to receive important oral treatments including dental implant placement, or when your gums need to be restored.

Bone Grafts Solve Oral Health Issues
After having teeth extracted or losing them through an accident, the root structure is no longer in the jaw. The jaw bone, after time, loses strength in the area where the tooth was. Called resorption, this process absorbs turns the tooth-supporting structures into nutrients for the body. If many teeth are missing or have been extracted, the whole jaw may suffer from losing strength. Your jaws may shrink as a result of oral cancer or other diseases. Bone grafting is a necessary procedure for patients to have a healthy smile again.

Shrinking jaws make the face look concave and saggy, and wrinkles form around the mouth area. This adds years to the smile. The bone graft procedures restores strength and bone density to the jaw, preparing it for further treatment.

Bone Grafts Provide a New Foundation for other Treatments
When receiving restorative treatments, or procedures that require strong bone structure, bone grafts are needed. Dental implant placement, for example, requires the bone to be a certain density and width to comfortably and safely complete the procedure. Dental implants won’t fuse with the bone properly without enough bone tissue. Bone grafts encourage new tissue growth and restore the full function of the jaw.

After wisdom teeth or regular teeth are extracted, your oral surgeon may also give patients bone grafts to inspire the bone tissue to grow into the empty space. This will protect the jaw from resorption, and ensure the gums continue to hold their natural line. This is often the first step before dental implants, bridges, or dentures are placed. In the case of wisdom teeth removal, a bone graft will aid in healing for long-term oral health. 

Looking to Restore the Smile? Call your Lorton Oral Surgeon

Bone grafts are a common and easy procedure for oral surgeons like Dr. Snehal Patel. Referrals can fill out the online form, and are welcome to contact us today to schedule treatment consultations.



10/17/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Gum disease, jaw and teeth misalignment, or dental accidents can ruin the functionality of the mouth. At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, we want to restore your smile to working order and make sure it is fully functional and in optimal health. Below are some oral procedures that will protect your dentition from bone loss, oral diseases, and misalignment.

Bone Grafting
This procedure has wide applications in aiding the dentition to be healthy. After losing a tooth or teeth, the jaw bone slowly deteriorates, and it can grow too weak to support other treatments like dental implants and bridges. In this procedure, your Lorton oral surgeon will place natural tissue into your jaw to support future tissue regeneration. Diseased or deteriorated bones can have tissue replaced which will protect your everyday oral function. This also prepares tissue for dental implant placement, ensuring long-term restorative success.

Teeth Extraction
Extracting teeth keep the whole mouth safe from infection and alleviate oral pain. As gum disease progresses into its more serious form of periodontitis, bacteria infect the supportive connective tissues that hold teeth in place.  As this support weakens, teeth become loose and often need to be removed in order to thoroughly treat the dentition and protect the health of the smile as a whole. Beyond periodontal disease, other reasons for extraction can include misalignment, dental fracture, and root canal failure.

Extraction is also recommended for patients suffering from impacted wisdom teeth. As most people don’t have enough room in their mouths for wisdom teeth, when teeth emerge their arches cannot accommodate the extra teeth. As a result, the molars become impacted (stuck) within the bone or gum tissue and can cause serious oral health issues.

Ridge and Sinus Augmentation
These are procedures are designed to restore structural integrity to the jaws. The ridge in your mouth refers to the area where teeth come out of the gums. This needs repair after having a tooth extracted, otherwise the jaw may appear uneven and will not be ready for future jaw bone surgeries.

Sinus augmentation is a procedure that improves the structure of the upper jaws. Your oral surgeon will make an incision and place bone grafting tissue to fill the space between the jaw bone and sinus membrane, creating a barrier that can accommodate eventual dental implant placement.

Learn More Today at Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery

Northern Virginia oral surgeon Dr. Snehal Patel is dedicated to providing all patients with the advanced oral surgeries needed to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. If you are looking for an oral surgeon in Lorton or Springfield, contact Dr. Patel to schedule your consultation. Our locations in Lorton and Springfield make receiving oral surgery a comfortable, convenient experience. 



10/12/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Mini Dental Implants
Traditional implants are used to replace missing spaces in your smile and can be used to support prosthetics such as dentures and bridges. However, in some instances traditional dental implants may not be the most cost-effective treatment options. In cases where bone structure is too weak to support new implant placement, many patients have turned to mini dental implants.

What are Mini Dental Implants?
Similar to traditional implants, mini dental implants (MDIs) use medical grade titanium alloy to support restorations. Uniquely, MDIs use an o-ball shaped head rather than abutments to support the future restoration.

Like their name suggests, mini dental implants are smaller in diameter than traditional implants, making them ideal for placement specifically in vertical bone. Given their smaller size, MDIs are less likely to interfere with other anatomical structures within your mouth.

Why Consider Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are often considered a cost effective alternative to replace missing spaces in your smile. As the placement procedure is less invasive than traditional implants, MDIs often require less healing time. In some cases, healthy patients may be eligible to have their implants placed and covered with a prosthetic tooth in one day, minimizing risk to the patient and the number of visits.  

Other benefits include:
-          Stabilized restorations – for patients who feel as those their dentures are loose or ill fitting, utilizing mini dental implant to secure their prosthetic is a great way to restore functionality to their smile.
-          Support facial structures – like traditional implants, mini dental implants fully integrate with the bone in your jaw and support it, supporting existing structures of your face.

Drawbacks of Mini Dental Implants
While mini dental implants may offer a number of advantages, there are some disadvantages which may make them less than ideal for certain individuals. In particular, patients with severe bone deterioration may find that implants do not provide sufficient support for the eventual restorations. 

Additionally, if the posts are incorrectly placed within the bone, patients may not enjoy optimal recovery success, putting them at risk of developing peri-implantitis as well as overall implant failure. Lastly, lack of clinical experimentation has led many dentists to have reservations concerning the long-term use of mini dental implants in cases where regular dental implants would suffice.

Contact Our Northern Virginia Oral Surgeon Today and Learn More
For more information about dental implants and implant-supported restorations, visit Dr. Snehal Patel and his team today to discuss your implant options. We can help you find a solution that best supports your ongoing tooth replacement needs and helps you enjoy a fully restored smile.





10/7/2016 2:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Dental Implant vs. Dental Bridges

Spaces in your smile can seriously impact patients’ self-confidence. To help complete smiles, dental implants and bridges are often recommended options for restoring missing teeth. As each procedure has its own advantages and drawbacks, it is important for patients to be fully informed before choosing the best restoration for their smile.

Dental Implants
Made up of three components, dental implants are considered the ideal solution for replacing missing teeth. During this treatment, titanium implant posts are surgically inserted into jaw bone. Over the course of recovery, these biocompatible components fuse with the rest of the bone tissue to create a solid foundation for the final porcelain restoration. As implants are precisely designed to replicate the shape and function of tooth roots, this alternative treatment prevents jaw bone resorption.

While implants tend to have larger up-front costs than traditional dentures or bridges, dental implants and implant-supported restorations are often considered long-term investments given their longevity. Whereas traditional restorations must be replaced or expanded frequently to maintain functionality, implants are permanent and can prevent additional problems from damaging the smile. Additionally, multiple implants can be used to support larger restorations like bridges and dentures.

Dental Bridges
Often the go-to treatment for tooth loss, dental bridges come in three varieties: the traditional bridges, which use a crown for each tooth on either side of the gap; Cantilever bridges, which are secured to adjacent teeth at one side of the gap; and Maryland bonded bridges or resin bonded, on which plastic teeth and gums secured to a metal frame work is bonded to existing teeth.

While bridges take less time to create and place than dental implants, this traditional restoration is only a temporary solution to tooth loss. As neighboring teeth must be filed or altered to support dental bridges, this procedure can unnecessarily damage otherwise healthy teeth, leaving them vulnerable to infection and accelerating deterioration. With this in mind, many patients with dental bridges find themselves facing frequent retreatment as well as more extensive restoration needs. Over time, these costs can quickly add up, making bridges a more expensive treatment in the long-term.


At our Lorton and Springfield dental practices, Dr. Snehal Patel is here to help you find the right solution for your smile. Whether you’re looking to replace one tooth or an entire arch with implants and implant-supported dentures or bridges, Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery offers comprehensive treatments tailored to your smile. To learn more, contact our nearest location today. 



8/1/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Seeking proper insurance for your oral surgery needs can be confusing. However, figuring out what is covered, what isn’t, and seeking alternatives is something that can be achieved through proper communication with different health care providers and our oral surgeon. At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, we hope to provide all of your surgical care and offer information for coverage and alternative sources of financing.

In The Case of Dental Implants 
Dental implants are a restorative procedure that allows for one or more teeth to be replaced. However, this effective and long lasting treatment is more expensive than other prosthetics and may not be covered by most traditional dental insurances. If you are interested in dental implants, inquire with our office about a payment plan for the best treatment available to replace teeth, regardless of your insurance coverage.

Although dental implants are more expensive initially, over time they are much more cost-effective than dentures. Over the course of use, removable prosthetics can wear down existing teeth and tissue. Dental implants replace teeth entirely, and when properly placed can integrate into the supportive structures to ensure long lasting restoration.

Dental Insurance: What Is Covered and What Isn’t? 
While most basic preventive and diagnostic care is covered by dental insurance, restorative treatments are often not included as covered services. Depending on your insurance plan’s benefits, fillings, root canals, crowns, and bridges may require a copayment. In some instances, paying for restorative dentistry falls squarely on the patient. There isn’t an all-in-one insurance plan that can cover everything, including implants, but talking to your healthcare provider for options is recommended.

At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, we accept most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), and PayPal. However, before you begin implant treatment, ask our front office team about a pre-treatment estimate. This service allows you to know upfront what your dental plan will cost and what you will be responsible for.

Contact Us!
For more information about health care coverage and financing options for all of your oral and maxillofacial surgery needs, contact us at our Lorton, VA or Springfield, VA practices.




7/25/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Oral surgery is necessary for the placement of dental implants or even extraction of wisdom or infected teeth. Teeth may be impacted or trapped within the jaw bone, which damages neighboring teeth. Through surgery, however, there is an opportunity to remove and assess these problems.

After surgery, it is normal for the treatment site to be sore or tender for the first few days. However, over-the-counter pain medication, or pain medication that was specifically prescribed for your procedure, can relieve any discomfort you feel.

At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, we ensure the highest level of comfort possible during procedures and provide advice on post-surgery oral care.

Here are suggestions for ensuring a healthy and speedy recovery following your oral surgery:

Rinse Frequently:
Keeping the blood clot in place is critical to ensuring successful recovery following teeth extraction. If the clot becomes dislodged, the bone and nerves are exposed, increasing pain. Exposure also leaves these tissues vulnerable to dry socket. To prevent this post-surgery infection, rinse your mouth as recommended by your oral surgeon and avoid touching the treated area.

Ice Regularly:
Post-treatment swelling can be extremely uncomfortable. To help alleviate some of the pain, be sure to apply ice packs at 15 minute intervals. Elevating the head and neck above the heart can also help reduce discomfort during recovery.

Stay Clean:
While patients should avoid brushing or floss teeth near the surgical area, that doesn’t exempt them from maintaining oral hygiene during the recovery. To ensure treated areas remain clean, remember to rinse gently using lukewarm salt water, especially after meals. When given the all clear by your surgeon to resume a normal hygiene routine, be gentle on your smile.

Watch Your Diet
Hot, crunchy, or hard foods can prolong the healing process, preventing patients from enjoying a speedy recovery. Until your smile heals, be sure to follow a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins A and C.

 While these tips are common sense, make sure you follow them ensure optimum recovery time without any complications.Depending on the type of surgery you are recovering from, you may also receive additional instructions. Be sure to follow these directives closely and keep all post-treatment appointments to ensure proper healing. 

If there are any complications after surgery, whether or not they occur because of the above information, contact our office immediately. 

Contact us for more information!

Oral surgeon Snehal Dr. Patel, of Lorton, VA and Springfield, VA, and our medical staff are committed to providing care before, during, and after surgery. If you have any questions about healthy recovery steps after oral surgery, contact Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery. 



7/18/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Dentistry is constantly changing; new technologies are being developed, procedures made more efficient, and more treatment options than ever before are now available. Any oral surgeon or dentist is limited in how they can treat adult teeth, especially when teeth must be removed or treated with preliminary care, like root canal therapy. You only have one of that particular tooth, and there’s no replacement.

Natural, Biological Implants
Within the next decades, it is surmised by experts in the field that dental implants will continue to improve and made to be longer-lasting. Eventually, though, the traditional implant procedure will be replaced by something far better. What if you could have your missing teeth back? Oral surgeons and scientists are researching how to re-grow teeth using cells. As adults and children, our teeth have stem cells that can be used to grow brand new teeth or tissues when needed. Instead of undergoing complex dental restorations and prosthetic teeth replacement, one can simply have a tooth grown and placed at the site of a missing tooth, as if you never lost it.

Ethical and Adaptable
In the above method, the stem cells used are all provided by your own body. These procedures are ethical and provide new teeth that are naturally designed to bond with your own tissue; there is little chance your immune system will reject your own cells and tissues.

Beyond replacing teeth, your stem cells could also be used to restore gum tissue that have receded or decayed. Oral procedures such as bone grafts, root planing and scaling, and possibly even common fillings could be dramatically changed with the introduction of stem cells. As of yet, the full range of dental applications have not been explored, but one day dentistry could have very few serious procedures and be focused more on natural, easily integrated treatments.

Oral Procedures at Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
Even though this future is far-off, our practice is proud to offer the most advanced oral procedures for restoring and replacing teeth. Northern Virgina oral surgeons Drs.Snehal Patel and Jason Bae are experienced oral surgeons who provide top-quality care to all of their patients. From dental implants and wisdom teeth extractions to jaw surgery and sedation dentistry, our experienced staff is prepared to provide state-of-the-art care that is minimally invasive and comprehensive. Call us today to schedule a consultation.




7/11/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

When you have a tooth that needs dental work, but you have the choice between a root canal and replacing the damaged tooth with a dental implant, it may be hard to choose. Both procedures improve oral health and include restorations that can be color-matched to blend with your natural smile. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who needs root canal therapy qualifies for a dental implant and some patients may not be able to save severely damaged teeth with a root canal.
Consider the following features of both procedures.

Root Canal Therapy: A patient needs root canal therapy if their tooth has become infected due to advanced decay. This procedure removes infected tooth pulp and involves capping the tooth with a crown for improved function and aesthetics. There are many options for crown materials and some of them look more natural than others, but most materials in modern dentistry have the potential to last for years with the proper care.

Root canals save as much natural tooth as possible, and are typically conducted by endodontists who are trained to perform root canals and are experienced to eliminate discomfort and reduce chances of re-infection.

Dental Implants: If tooth has been compromised by infection, it’s sometimes necessary to extract the entire tooth and provide a replacement. In these instances, a single-tooth implant is an option. During extraction and implant placement, the whole tooth and root are removed and an implant is placed into your jaw bone. Implants are designed to fuse with the bone in your jaw over time and become a whole replacement for a lost tooth. A dental restoration is placed on top of the implant post and is designed to fit perfectly with surrounding teeth. Modern materials permit a similar aesthetic and strength to natural teeth.

The dental implant itself takes some time to officially fuse to your jaw bone and become as strong as possible. To ensure the health and continued integrity of your implant, follow-up examinations are required.

The benefits of dental implants include:
Strong, natural looking restoration
Replaces entire tooth
Long-lasting
In the event of damage, only the top prosthetic needs to be swapped out

Contact Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery 
For your dental implant or root canal therapy needs, please visit our dentists at Lorton- Springfield Dental Implant and Oral Surgery. Call us for a consultation and find out which dental treatment is best for you.




7/4/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

One of the greatest advantages of dental implants is the treatment’s longevity. Unlike dentures, partials, or bridges which must be replaced every few years to ensure continued oral function, implants often last a lifetime with the right care. In order to enjoy the full lifespan of this treatment option, there are several steps patients must integrate into their regular hygiene routine. Some of the best steps for caring for your dental implants include:

Brush Twice Daily
Just like natural teeth, dental implants should be brushed twice daily to remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of teeth.

Floss Daily
Patients with dental implants are at an increased risk of developing peri-implantitis, an inflammatory gum condition caused by the accumulation of plaque on the dental implant. Without treatment, this infection can compromise the long-term health of the smile as well as the longevity of the dental implant. Flossing at least once a day can help remove plaque and bacteria trapped between the teeth and prevent the accumulation of tartar at the gum line.

Use a Rubber Pick
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, dental implant patients should also consider adding soft-tipped dental picks into their dental hygiene routine. Used after brushing and flossing, patients run these rubber picks along the gum line, removing plaque that may have been left behind by brushing and flossing and is trapped in the space between the teeth. As this dental instrument is made of rubber, individuals don’t need to worry about scratching the implant or damaging the surrounding tissue.

Thoroughly Clean Prosthetic
Particularly for patients with removable overdentures, cleaning the prosthetic is an important part of maintaining a lasting implant-retained restoration. In addition to cleaning the prosthetic thoroughly with the correct materials, patients should also be careful to clean around the dental implant attachments, as this ensures that trapped food is removed daily and prevents plaque and bacteria from building up below the denture. 

Keep Regular Dental Visits
At-home oral hygiene is only part of the implant care process. In addition to maintaining a diligent hygiene routine at home, patients must also regularly visit their dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups. During these biannual visits, your dentist can ensure your implant is functioning properly and effective improving the overall health, function, and aesthetics of your smile.


In Northern Virginia, Dr. Snehal Patel and his team at Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery are committed to providing patients with restorative solutions that yield lasting results. By working closely with your general dentist, our Northern Virginia oral surgeon is able to ensure that your implant treatment contributes to the long-term wellbeing of your dentition. For more information about caring for your dental implants, as well as your available implant options, contact our Lorton orSpringfield oral surgery practices



6/27/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

When teeth are lost or extracted, replacing them as soon as possible is critical to restoring function and aesthetics to a smile. For individuals missing almost all of the teeth in an arch, finding a comprehensive restoration is especially important. Thanks to the versatility of dental implants, many patients experiencing extensive tooth loss have several options available to them. Hybrid dentures and implant-retained dentures permit individuals to take advantage of the stability and treatment longevity offered by dental implants combined with the same degree of coverage offered by dentures

Implant-retained dentures combine the coverage of traditional dentures with the security of dental implants. Consisting of an acrylic-porcelain overdenture, implant-supported dentures are ideal for patients who are missing all or most of their teeth in an arch. Implant-retained dentures are easily removable, snapping onto and off of specially designed abutments. This allows patients to easily remove their prosthetic for nightly cleaning. Patients with existing dentures or those who have used dentures find implant-retained dentures to be the logical step towards a stabilized bite and ultimately more functional smile.

Hybrid dentures, also known as fixed bridges, are an ideal option for patients who have healthy gums yet require extensive arch replacement. Unlike implant-supported dentures, which encompass the entire arch, hybrid dentures can be customized to cover only the missing teeth, allowing patients to keep any remaining healthy natural teeth. This teeth-only restoration also leaves the palate clear, allowing patients to enjoy their meals.

Which Arch Replacement Is Best for You?
There are a number of factors that go into selecting the best arch replacement for your smile. Starting with the condition of the dentition, patients with existing full or partial dentures benefit from the placement of overdentures. Additionally, overdentures often require fewer implants and therefore less bone density, patients with limited jaw bone strength are excellent candidates for implant-retained dentures.

The location of a patient’s tooth loss plays a significant role in determining which treatment is best for a patient. For individuals missing multiple teeth on the upper arch, hybrid dentures are often recommended as they do not cover the palate, and they maintain the aesthetics of the dentition.

Implant Consultation in Lorton and Springfield
Choosing the right arch restoration can be an overwhelming process with multiple factors to consider. At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, Dr. Snehal Patel and his team use advanced technology to help patients understand the condition of the smile and determine the best restorative dental solution.

By offering a wide variety of implant-based treatment options, our Northern Virginia implant dentist is able to help patients regain total dental health, function, and aesthetics. With consultations available at our Lorton and Springfield locations, Dr. Patel welcomes patients from across the Northern Virginia region to visit and learn more about the advantages of dental implants.




6/20/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Like any other surgical procedure, dental implant surgery can be accompanied by a certain number of risks. Being aware of the potential complications prior to undergoing dental implant placement is an important factor in selecting dental implants as your preferred restoration option. Some of the common dental implant complications that face patients include:

Post-Surgery Bleeding and Swelling
Bleeding, swelling, and general discomfort is expected following implant placement. However, if you are experiencing continued bleeding or swelling four or five days after your surgery, contact your oral surgeon for a follow-up appointment as these may be indicative of infection.

Infection
Infection at the implant placement point is among the most common implant complications. Known as peri-implantitis, this form of periodontal disease causes inflammation and swelling around the implantation area. If left untreated, patients may be at risk of bone loss and implant failure, requiring total implant replacement in the future. While the long-term consequences of this condition can be worrisome, ensuring the gums are healthy prior to placement as well as continued gingival maintenance can help eliminate this risk.

Damage to Surrounding Tissue
Successful dental implants do more than replace missing teeth. They interact with surrounding tissue in order to comprehensively restore the dentition to optimal health. As a result, successful placement requires paying close attention to the surrounding tissue in order to strategically introduce the implant into the smile. Adjacent teeth, bone, and blood vessels could be accidentally damaged without precise planning, requiring future treatments in order to address these problems. While extremely rare, accidental nerve damage caused by misplaced implants can lead to pain, numbness or tingling in the teeth, gums, and chin. As a result, the implants may need to be removed or repositioned.

Sinus Problems
Bone density is a key component to dental implant longevity. For patients receiving upper arch implants, the bone must be thick enough to support the prosthetic; otherwise, the implant could breach the sinus cavity. Often, preliminary sinus augmentation surgery and the use of a detailed surgical guide can prevent sinus complications.

Learn More about Dental Implant Options Today

At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, we believe that being aware of the potential complications of dental implants is an important part of the implant preparation process. During your consultation with our Northern Virginia oral surgeon, Dr. Snehal Patel, we review every step of the implant process, ensuring you know the ins and outs of every part of the treatment. To minimize the risk of post-treatment infection and promote healthful recovery, our in-depth post-op instructions provide detailed steps for protecting your new smile. Together, Dr. Patel and our patients are able ensure long-term treatment success. 



6/13/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

There are a number of advantages that accompany dental implants. Many dentists consider dental implants and implant-retained restorations to be the ideal solution in comparison to traditional restorations due to their diverse applications and overall lifespan.

However, achieving a successful implant restoration can take some time. Depending on the condition of the smile and the health of the supportive jaw bone, traditional dental implant treatment time can vary anywhere from three to six months. As a result, some patients may be hesitant to pursue dental implant treatment.

However, thanks to innovations in modern dentistry, certain patients may be able to skip the extensive wait time and receive same-day dental implants. Produced by Nobel Biocare, Teeth-in-an-Hour™ are same-day implant option that allow patients to enjoy the ease of obtaining a completed smile in just one visit to their Northern Virginia oral surgeon.

What are Teeth-in-an-Hour™? 
Teeth-in-an-Hour™ uses high-power 3D imaging to determine bone structure and create a placement plan, in which implants are strategically placed to provide the most benefit to a patient’s dentition. Once the digital surgical guide has been created, the implants are placed using computer guided technology. With Teeth-in-an-Hour™, prostheses can be immediately loaded onto the implants during the placement procedure, allowing patients to leave their appointment with a completed, fully functional smile. Given the precision of the surgical guide, there is often less post-operative discomfort experienced by Teeth-in-an-Hour™ patients.

Who is a Candidate for Teeth-in-an-Hour™?
Like traditional dental implants, candidacy for this procedure is based on a number of factors. In particular, patients considering Teeth-in-an-Hour™ must have a healthy jawbone with sufficient density to support the attachment of the implant. As a result, any preliminary bone reinforcement procedures, such as bone grafting, sinus lift, or ridge modification must be completed prior to the treatment. For these patients, traditional dental implants may be a better option to ensure they receive the best treatment possible.

Dental Implant Options in Lorton and Springfield
At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, our mission is to provide patients with lasting teeth replacement solutions. For individuals considering dental implants as a viable restorative option, Dr. Snehal Patel encourages patients to schedule a consultation. During this appointment, our oral surgeon can evaluate your smile and determine which implant option best serves your needs. With practices located in Lorton and Springfield, Dr. Patel and his team welcome patients throughout Northern Virginia.




5/23/2016 12:00:00 PM | Snehal Patel

Compared to traditional restorations, dental implants offer a lifelong solution for replacing any number of missing teeth. Valued as a highly versatile restorative option, much of the long-term success associated with dental implants derives from how this treatment interacts with other parts of patients’ smiles.

The Problem with Traditional Restorations
Natural teeth roots serve as stimulation for the jaw bone, ensuring stable dental function. When a tooth is lost, the bone also loses its necessary point of stimulation. While conventional restoration options such as bridges, partials, and dentures may be effective for temporarily treating tooth loss, these prosthetics sit above the gum line and do not interact with the jaw bone. Over time, the lack of jaw bone stimulation caused by general tooth loss and compounded by the restoration can cause bone deterioration. Known as resorption, this subsequent bone loss weakens the overall strength of the dentition and can trigger additional tooth loss.

Creating an Implant Support System
During implant placement, a titanium screw is placed directly into the jaw bone, mimicking the stimulation provided by the natural tooth. As a result, the bone begins to form around the implant, effectively incorporating the substitute root. Known as the process of osseointegration, this naturally-occurring process is directly tied to the success of the implant as a whole for several reasons:


  • Prevents Resorption: Dental implants are designed to interact with the bone just like natural teeth do. By using an implant, rather than a bridge to replace a missing tooth, the bone can be comprehensively stimulated, thus preventing resorption and additional tooth loss.
  • Stabilizes Future Restorations: Whether you’re receiving a single crown or using several implants to support a full-arch restoration, successful osseointegration prevents the need for total implant replacement in the future. Additionally, osseointegration helps to preserve dental function, allowing patients to enjoy lifelike teeth replacement. 
  • Preserve Facial Structure: Bone resorption can also trigger changes in facial structure, leading to the premature aging and facial collapse. By stimulating osseointegration with dental implants, patients are able to preserve facial aesthetics. 


At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, our team is dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain their smiles through dental implants and implant-supported dentures. For more information about this service, contact our Northern Virginia oral surgeon today.