Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

“A smile is worth a thousand words,” Julie A. Walker. In today’s fast-paced world this is even more true. In a world of online line meetings and virtual conferences, our faces (and smiles) are the first thing people see. That first impression can make a big difference. Were we smiling? Or did we give a tight-lipped nod, not because we weren’t excited… But because we were embarrassed about our smile. One of the fastest-growing trends in dental appliances for teeth replacement has become dental implants.

And while this isn’t a new concept (a 2019 study found that 57% of Americans were insecure about their smile!), the age of electronics reminds us every time we turn the camera on for the next zoom meeting that there is something we don’t like about our smile.

Fortunately, the dental industry has made great strides in making “smile enhancement” more affordable than ever. Where 50 years ago the only affordable option may have been to pull bad teeth and then get uncomfortable, ill-fitting dentures, in 2021 Lans Family Dentistry offers many affordable options for both permanent and removable replacement teeth.

What Are Dental Implants? dental_implants

Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth replacement. Dental implants have been used by men going back thousands of years. There is evidence that Mayans were using items like stone and seashells in 600 A.D. as implants!

A dental implant requires that a mental rod be inserted into the jawbone replacing the missing tooth’s root. The jawbone will graft onto the steel post and at that point, a crown, or artificial tooth, will cover the rod. This ensures a lifelike replacement and durability that you cannot find in removable devices.

Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or as anchors for dentures.

Why Should I Choose Implants Over Dentures?

When it comes to dental repairs we are no longer limited to “either/or” options. Treatments can vary widely depending on what repairs need to be made (one tooth, multiple teeth, etc.) and what kind of shape the client’s remaining teeth and jaw are in.

A reputable family dentist will be able to sit down with you and explain the different treatments and what they would recommend based on how much the treatment will cost and how long the treatment will last.

Implants, though relatively new to the scene, have seen massive growth in popularity since the 1970s when they first became mainstream. Part of what makes them so popular is their ease and convenience.

A Beautiful Smile. Dental implants are an actual part of you. They look and feel like your own teeth because they are! That gives many people that extra boost of confidence to show off those pearly whites.

Pronunciation. Because implants are a permanent feature, you don’t have to worry about being caught without teeth in or denture slips. This leads to better pronunciation and improved speech patterns.

Comfort. Removable dentures can often slip and slide, the glue may come loose, or rubbing may cause sores and pinching. Implants are much more comfortable because, in addition to being designed for you personally, they are permanently placed, so no need to worry about slips and sores.

Durability. Implants today have the ability to last decades if not a lifetime. If the implants are properly cared for and maintained, then they can be a second set of “permanent teeth” to last through adulthood.

Convenience. Dentures are fantastic. They look great and they serve a purpose, but they are not permanent. You don’t have to worry about any embarrassment about taking them out at night with dental implants. You don’t have to worry about carrying adhesive if your dentures slip. Implants get treated in the same manner your regular teeth would.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of dental implants can vary greatly based on an individual’s needs.

Variables That Affect Cost
– Initial Evaluation
– X-rays/CT scans
– Tooth Extractions/Implant Prep
– Bone Grafting
– Implant Post
– Implant Crown
– Abutment

All of these factors need to be tailored to each individual’s personal needs. For example, some people may not require bone grafts. Some may choose materials that may affect the cost for the post or crown.

Dental Insurance can also play a factor in the cost of implants. You, or your dentist, can reach out to your insurance company for a list of what is covered and what isn’t. There are certain instances where it may be covered as a medical necessity and not sheerly cosmetic.

These details need to be discussed when considering implants so that you and the dentist will have a complete understanding of patient/provider responsibility and what options are affordable for your needs.

How Do I Get Dental Implants?

The first step to getting dental implants is to set up a consultation with your dentist. This way they can determine:

– If you are eligible for dental implants
– How many implants will be needed
– What, if any, work needs to be done prior to setting the post
– Projected Expenses

From there you can pick the best implants that work for your needs and set up a time frame for the treatment.

At Lans Family Dentistry in Ashburn, Virginia we strive every day to provide affordable, top-quality dental care in a relaxing atmosphere. As always, Dr. Lans, our staff, and our associates are here to answer all your questions and be your trusted partner in superior oral and dental health.


Better Oral Imaging – iTero Digital Scanner

For so many different reasons, Invisalign® orthodontic treatments are an incredibly popular therapeutic choice here at Lans Family Dentistry and Orthodontics. What’s not to like?  They are almost invisible in your mouth and are effective for most teeth alignment issues we encounter. Now, best of all, we are now using the iTero® digital scanner to map out the unique structure of each patient’s teeth and gums. No more goop. No more gagging.  No more old-school teeth molds and oral impressions. 

This is a real breakthrough for patient comfort and convenience!  Plus, these digital tools deliver a highly precise 3-D rendering of our patient’s teeth, gums, and oral soft tissues.

 Improved Accuracy.  Patient Comfort.

The iTero® digital scanner is a compact and digital hand-held wand. As our dental technician hovers the device over your teeth and into your mouth, it captures a comprehensive image of your dental structures.  The data is sorted and stored to deliver high-resolution and interactive images of your teeth.

This scanning process delivers much more precise data than any putty or silicone mold is able to offer.  The system captures an astounding 6,000 images per second allowing us to be very exact on treatment protocols. 

Using this system actually helps us to better measure patient progress with their Invisalign treatments. Integrated into the iTero® system is the ability to simulate outcomes and visually demonstrate what a patient’s smile will look like once the treatment is complete.

Scanners are safe, accurate, and comfortable. In just two to three minutes, we can capture a highly precise, 3-D picture of your teeth and soft tissue structures. There’s no radiation involved so it’s a safe process for everyone. 

iTero® scanning provides a roadmap for your unique treatment.  We have found it makes office visits go more quickly and treatment results more dramatically measurable.

Invisalign®.  Comfortable, effective, and popular.

Our patients find that Invisalign braces will cause less interference in their daily life. However, at the same time, the treatment is powerful enough to achieve the beautiful smile they desire.  Not everyone is born with a beautiful smile. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something positive for yourself.

Take the first step to improving your smile.  Ask us about the new iTero® digital scanning system and see if Invisalign® is right for you!


Professional Teeth Whitening Versus At Home Kits

“I want whiter teeth and a brighter smile.  Can I get good results with over-the-counter teeth whitening kits?”  We hear this question quite often at Lans Family Dentistry. Like most health care questions, the answers are sometimes conditional and depend upon the individual patient and their needs or desired outcomes. For most patients, professional and supervised teeth whitening yields superior and longer-lasting results. 

Over the Counter Solutions.

Most store-bought whitening strips will remind you of small band-aids that stick to your teeth.  Limited by their size and design, they are able to usually only whiten the front teeth. Many patients have wide enough smiles to show more than these teeth. 

Overall, users may realize that store-bought products don’t provide the even, white smile they’d hoped for.  In many cases, the results are not as dramatic – nor do they results last as long as professional whitening.

Professional Whitening.

In contrast, professional whitening products used by dentists are designed to whiten the whole smile.  These systems use full-mouth trays to give all teeth maximum exposure to whitening solutions. Further, professional solutions used by dentists are typically much stronger than the drug-store kits. Thus, the teeth tend to whiten more quickly.

The staff at Lans Family Dentistry can also help determine each patient’s individual suitability for teeth whitening.  Patients with gum disease are likely not suitable – and, those with extensive caps, crowns, or veneers may also be incompatible. Finally, those with sensitive gums may not tolerate the solutions used in these processes.

We recommend REV!

Lans Family Dentistry has experienced significant patient satisfaction with the REV® whitening system.  Only 15 minutes once a day with REV’s patented 14% hydrogen peroxide formula delivers brilliant results. 

REV! is water-based to hydrate the teeth. It whitens while also avoiding thermal sensitivity.

The finishing rinse is formulated for use immediately after removing your trays. It removes residual gel from teeth while enhancing and stabilizing whitening.

We recommend the product because of

•   Shorter Wear Times – 1/4 the time of leading strips

•   Less Sensitivity – 66% less sensitive than learning strips

•   Superior Whitening – Patented technology with proven results.

Make an appointment today for professionally supervised teeth whitening – or, call to get your questions answered.  Lans Family Dentistry can get you a whiter, brighter smile in no time at all.


Use It or Lose It – Your Annual Dental Benefits

This is the time of the year when we do our very best to remind all our patients that the benefits year is winding down.  Depending upon your specific dental plans, your coverages will reset after December 31, 2020, and you may lose some dental benefits that would otherwise be coming your way.

This applies to all our current patients, any patients we haven’t seen in a while and new patients as well.  The following are most of the basics that are routinely covered by basic dental insurance plans. Your coverages may vary.

Your History

During the appointment, we will update all pertinent parts of your dental and medical histories. Specifically, we will want to know about any changes in health, any chronic conditions and any new or on-going medications you might be taking. We want to know about any health concerns you have or any anxieties or allergies that may concern you.

Your Teeth

Your teeth will get a thorough cleaning. We’ll start by removing all built-up plaque and tartar that collects above and below the gum line. Your teeth will receive complete flossing between and around every tooth to remove additional plaque or food particles. Finally, cleaning and shining of your teeth is completed with a polishing disc with a
flavorful taste.

The Exam

Now that your teeth are squeaky clean, it’s time to have a look at any problem areas in your mouth. At this stage, we check for the softening of tooth enamel and dentin. We are also on the lookout for the swelling of gums in any areas, any mouth sores, irritations or redness.

Dental X-rays

Somewhere in this process, we will make time for x-ray pictures of your mouth.  This helps our clinicians determine if there are any issues below the mouth’s surface. This imaging helps to show the visible parts of your teeth as well as the roots below the gum line and your jaw bones. We can then see exactly what conditions might exist and recommend oral care or future treatments as needed.

Remember to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth but can be effectively managed.

Here are some tips for good oral care at home:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. A toothpaste with fluoride is recommended.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a mouthwash to help control plaque bacteria. This will also help to keep your breath fresh.

Routine dental care is always prompt, professional, and thorough at Lans Family Dentistry.  We will always go out of our way to help coordinate benefits to make sure you get all the healthcare dollars and reimbursements that are coming your way. Don’t lose important dental benefits!

Our dental schedules are filling up fast before the end of the year. Schedule your appointment now, and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule.


October is Orthodontic Health Month

October is Orthodontic Health Month! It is THE month when we celebrate healthy and attractive smiles, but actually, that’s something we try to do ALL year through! 

During this special month, we do want to make sure that we continue to communicate all the long-term benefits of undergoing successful orthodontic treatments.  For kids and adults both, Dr. Ike Lans and Associates help to correct problems with spacing of teeth as well as any resulting mouth and jaw issues.

orthodontic_health_month

In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, here are the top 10 reasons conventional braces or Invisalign® invisible braces will change your life for the better:

1) Greater Self-Esteem

This is likely the number one benefit of straight teeth. There is an increase in an individual’s self-confidence once they transition to having a healthy, beautiful smile. This makes a positive impact in almost every aspect of a person’s life.

2) Fewer Cavities

Crooked or overlapping teeth are more difficult to clean and floss. Crooked and poorly spaced teeth catch more food particles and develop more plaque.  Straight teeth offer fewer places for food to hide and residue can be more easily brushed or flossed away.

3) Less Headaches

Crowded or crooked teeth wear unevenly. This leads to jaw stress, and for many more frequent headaches. Straight teeth prevent this source of tension and discomfort.

4) Clear speech

Crooked teeth can cause speech impediments which can greatly impact a person’s self-confidence or performance at work or school. Straightened teeth can correct some speech impediments.

5) Improved gum health

Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, and clean teeth keep gums healthy. It is critical to minimize the risk of gum disease as this condition leads to tooth decay and potential tooth loss.

6) Better Digestion

Teeth that are not aligned correctly are likely not chewing correctly. This can lead to both digestion and nutrition problems if not corrected.

7) Less Soft-Tissue Injury

Crooked teeth can push against soft tissues in the mouth. This can cause cuts, sores, and possible infections.

8) Saves money long-term

Straight teeth have fewer serious dental problems later in life when compared to crooked teeth. Less frequent future dental problems mean less money spent on restorative dental care.

9) Better overall health

Did you know tooth decay leads to gum disease which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and other serious and chronic health problems? It’s surprising but true. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean which means less tooth decay. Anything you can do to eliminate tooth decay is good for your health.

10) More Smiling

We saved the best for last! When you have a great smile, you will simply use that smile often! When you smile, you stimulate nerves in your face that help you actually feel happier. More smiling leads to lower stress and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Cheers to National Orthodontic Health Month!  As always, Dr. Lans, our staff, and our associates are here to answer all your questions and be your trusted partner in superior oral and dental health.