Dr. Stephen A. Price


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We’re Answering Questions about Dental Implants

We’re Answering Questions about Dental Implants

Tooth loss is an age-old problem for which we now have modern solutions. It is not something that a person has to live with now that there are viable, long-lasting solutions. Today, patients choose from dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants to restore the smile. Dentists often recommend dental implants to patients, and just as many patients ask about this treatment option. Here, we answer questions that often come up during dental implant consultations.

Why are dental implants preferred today?

Dental implants are surgically set into the jawbone. Over a few months, implant posts become encased in bone and will then act as new roots for replacement teeth. This protocol is preferred primarily because it offers significant benefits as compared to traditional treatments. These include:

  • Greater stability and security
  • Improved comfort
  • Long-lasting
  • Full restoration of chewing and speaking
  • Will not slip or fall out during wear

What’s involved in dental implant treatment?

Dentists may place dental implants in a few different ways. The course of treatment depends on each patient’s dental needs and personal preferences. In some cases, a single procedure can fully restore a missing tooth. In more complex cases, a patient may require multiple smaller procedures over several months. Customizing the treatment plan to the patient is essential for an optimal outcome that can last a lifetime. Generally, dental implant treatment involves the following:

  1. Using a local anesthetic, the dentist numbs the treatment area.
  2. The dentist makes a small incision in the gums to gain access to the jawbone. A small instrument is used to insert the implant. Gum tissue is stitched over the implant so the post can sit undisturbed as it heals.
  3. A temporary denture or bridge may facilitate chewing. Patients may want to make minor dietary changes to prevent excess force on the implant.
  4. The implant integrates into the jawbone over a few months.
  5. Once the implant is embedded into the jawbone, a second procedure is done to attach an abutment to the implant. Gums are stitched around this piece. The abutment ultimately connects the implant to the artificial tooth.
  6. The final procedure in implant treatment attaches the artificial tooth to the abutment.

How Much Does Dental Implant Treatment Cost?

The cost of dental implant treatment varies depending on several factors. Dental insurance may cover a portion of the treatment but typically does not provide complete coverage. For example, the cost of the artificial tooth or teeth may qualify for insurance assistance but dental implants may not. We encourage patients to contact their insurance provider before seeking treatment. In addition to evaluating the up-front costs of dental implant treatment, patients should consider the long-term costs associated with this treatment versus traditional fixtures like dentures. This kind of cost analysis often points to dental implants as the most cost-effective treatment.

Learn more about dental implants. Call our Burke office at (703)-935-2879 today!

Three Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

Tooth loss is not something we expect to happen to us. Should this occur, it creates stress and, often, confusion. There are choices in how teeth are replaced. You’d think that would make the process easier. It doesn’t seem to.

Here, we discuss three reasons why dental implants should be considered in the event of tooth loss.

  1. Dental implants are so much like real teeth that most people can’t tell the difference. A dental implant isn’t an artificial tooth; it is the artificial root that holds a restoration. This is significant because our natural teeth are anchored in bone. Until the development of dental implants, replacement teeth could only be anchored on adjacent teeth via crowns or clasps. Being anchored in the bone, a dental implant restores chewing and speaking to such near-normal levels that artificial teeth can feel just like real ones.
  2. Dental implants are biocompatible and corrosion-resistant. The part of the implant that is anchored in the jawbone is made of titanium. Titanium has been used for many years in medical implants for orthopedic surgeries. It sits well in the body and maintains its resilience encased in natural tissues. The natural sugars, acid, and bacteria in the mouth that can decay teeth have no effect on dental implants so long as gum health is maintained with daily brushing and flossing.
  3. Dental implants are versatile. While dental implants are made as individual posts that can replace a single tooth at a time, patients often choose to combine this innovative dental procedure with traditional treatments to get even better results. Historically, dentures used for full-arch tooth replacement have sat on the gums. This compromises the transfer of vibrations through the gums and to the jawbone. Without this transfer, the bone degrades over time. With dental implants holding a denture in place, the vibration created by chewing passes to the jawbone just like it would with natural teeth. This helps maintain good bone density for many years.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Tooth loss can have extensive effects on health and well-being. There is no need to go through any amount of time without full use of your mouth as a result of tooth loss. We can help. Call (703)-935-2879 to schedule a visit at our Burke office.

How Can I Help My Dental Implants Last?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 3 million people have dental implants at this time. Furthermore, approximately half a million new implants are placed every year. Since this procedure became common several years ago, dental implant treatment has skyrocketed in popularity. Most patients who require tooth replacement now wish to do so with dental implants. There are several reasons for this. Primarily, it is because the result of dental implant treatment feels most natural.

Among the many benefits of dental implants, patients appreciate knowing that their new teeth roots can last their lifetime. This is significant because dental implants are an investment in long-term oral health and an attractive smile. The lifespan of the average dental implant, however, is not a given. It takes a bit of work to ensure this treatment keeps performing well over many years. This is no different than natural teeth, which must also be well-managed to avoid disease.

Tips for Dental Implant Care

Like natural teeth, dental implants must be preserved and protected. Like natural teeth, implants also respond well to much of the same practice that is suggested for avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. Best practices for preserving dental implants include:

  • Optimal cleanliness. Bacteria live in the mouth and can cause a lot of damage if not routinely washed away. In the case of dental implants, bacteria could penetrate the gums and cause pockets around the new roots. Bacteria within these pockets could then accumulate around the implant, causing breakdown in the jawbone. Fortunately, it can take months or years for periodontal disease to get this bad. With two minutes of brushing every morning and night, and flossing as recommended by the treating dentist, most dental implant patients can enjoy a lifetime of function.
  • Protective measures. Dental implants hold artificial teeth that are made out of dental porcelain or other lifelike material. These materials can be scratched by hard toothbrush bristles or abrasive toothpaste particles. It is necessary to protect new teeth as well as the gums so bacteria do not find tiny scratches in which to hide.
  • Professional care. Routine dental checkups and cleanings are as important for dental implant patients as for everyone else. The dentist performs checkups using special glasses that magnify enamel and the areas around the gums. Special instruments are used to remove plaque and caked-on tartar when needed.

Studies show that nearly 99% of dental implants are successful and long-lasting. We can help you make sure you’re part of this statistic. To schedule a visit at our Burke office, call (703)-935-2879.

Dental Implant FAQs

Dental implant treatment Dental implant treatment has become increasingly relevant in the tooth-replacement conversation. Many people have heard the term dental implants but aren’t quite sure what this treatment entails or what it might do for them. Here, we provide answers to several of the questions we frequently hear.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are tiny posts made of surgical grade titanium. These posts are inserted into the jawbone, where they gradually become surrounded by bone tissue. The purpose of a dental implant is to serve as a new root for an artificial tooth that will be affixed after the implant has fully integrated into the bone.

Does it hurt to get a dental implant?

The dental implant procedure is not painful. Before commencing with treatment, a local anesthetic is injected into the gums. This will block sensations in the nerves around the treatment area. As implants are inserted, patients may feel slight pressure, similar to the sensation of getting a dental filling or having a root canal. Post-treatment comfort also returns quickly; many patients return to work the day after their procedure.

Why are dental implants necessary?

The reason why dental implants were developed was that we needed better solutions for tooth loss. Losing a tooth also means losing its root system. Research has shown that, when we chew, vibrations travel through the tooth and its roots down into the jawbone. It is believed that these vibrations stimulate bone tissue to regrow. When the root and tooth no longer exist, the jawbone regenerates at such a slow rate that it actually degrades over time. Bone loss can change dentition and also, if extensive, change the shape of the face.

Are dental implants worth the cost?

We all like to know that we are getting a good return on any investment we make. The cost of dental implant treatment may look higher than alternative treatments like dentures at first glance. However, when we take into account the fact that dental implants can last forever and that, by supporting bone structure, may decrease the number of denture relines or replacements that are necessary, we gain a better understanding of the cost-effectiveness of this treatment over the long-term.

Have you been wondering about dental implants and what they can do for you? Let’s talk. Call to schedule a visit to our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.

Dental Implants Cost: Are We Looking at the Right Detail?

Dental Implants BURKE, VA If you’re like most people, you want to feel a sense of reward when you spend money. Even the most conscientious among us do. There’s something much more gratifying to purchasing a shiny new watch than a shiny new tooth (unless we’re talking about professional teeth whitening). Tooth replacement due to injury or disease is another story. We expect our natural teeth to last. When one or more teeth fail, we might feel out-and-out robbed of our great smile – and our hard-earned cash.

Tooth loss isn’t something that can be ignored. There are steeper costs to not replacing a tooth than there are if you choose tooth replacement carefully with the help of your dentist. Here, we touch on how to evaluate the actual cost of dental implants by observing the value of your investment in your well-being.

Invest in Longevity

All dental treatment comes at a cost, and dental implant treatment is typically the most “costly” of all available tooth replacement options. That is, until the focus shifts to value. One of the ways to observe the value of dental implants is to compare the longevity of results to those obtained with dental bridges and dentures.

Dental prosthetics like crowns, bridges, and dentures have an expected lifespan. The longevity of dentures ranges from 5 to 15 years, with 8 being the average. A dental bridge can last up to 15 years, or as little as 5. Dental implants are prostheses that are inserted into the jawbone. Within months after initial insertion, they become encased in bone. This fusion allows them to last for several decades with good periodontal care.

Invest in You

When faced with the need for new teeth, consider the money that you spend an investment in your future well-being and quality of life, because that’s exactly where you will see your reward. Tooth replacement may put teeth back where they should be, but there’s much more that stems from the structural restoration. Healthy, natural teeth can bite into foods and chew them thoroughly whether they are crunchy or chewy or dense. If artificial teeth cannot perform to the same standard, their value decreases. Many of the men and women who have replaced natural teeth with dental implants and affixed crowns, bridges or dentures express immense appreciation for the natural feel they get from their restorations.

Learn more about how dental implants can add value to your life. Call our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.

Fractures aren’t Just a Bone Thing

Dental Crown Burke, VAWhen we hear the word “fracture,” we usually imagine an unexpected injury to a bone in the arm, leg, or another area of the body. This is not a word we might associate with our teeth. We should. Just like any bone in the body, a tooth can sustain an injury that leads to a fracture, or clean break. This type of damage typically occurs without warning, usually when something hard is bitten or chewed. Depending on the extent of the injury, tooth pain may not happen. However, a fracture is not something to leave unattended. Here, we discuss a few of the ways a fractured tooth might be treated.

Dental Bonding

We usually refer to dental bonding as a cosmetic treatment that covers small chips or other flaws. However, the dental bonding technique is also used restoratively. In this instance, we know the procedure as a tooth-colored filling. To repair a fractured tooth using this method, a slight amount of roughing may occur. This helps the composite material adhere to enamel. A tooth-colored mixture of glass and resin is then applied in thin layers and cured with light. The hardened material is comparable to enamel and therefore capable of strengthening the fractured tooth to decrease the risk of further damage.

Dental Crown

A dental crown may be necessary if a fracture has affected the layer of tooth material beneath enamel. This is a softer layer of matter and therefore more sensitive. A crown will cover the entire surface of the tooth to the gum line, buffering any stress that stems from biting and chewing. Dental porcelain is a standard crown material that looks and behaves like natural enamel, providing years of functional use.

Dental Implant

Severe tooth fractures may cause too much damage for the tooth to be saved. If the damaged tooth must be extracted, we can insert a tiny titanium post into the place where roots would be. This treatment induces bone growth around the post, leading to a new foundation for an artificial tooth to rest on top.

In our Burke office, patients can expect to receive care that suits their needs and their budget. For help repairing a tooth fracture or other dental problem, call (703)-935-2879.

Three Ways that Dental Implants Serve Your Smile

Dental Implants BURKE, VATo lose a tooth has historically meant to lose full function for biting, chewing, and speaking. Depending on the extent of tooth loss and the area in the mouth that has been affected, there is also a cosmetic component to live with. Fortunately, we don’t have to “live with” any of the consequences of tooth loss anymore. We’ve now got viable treatments that put teeth back where they belong.

Dentures and bridges have served us well throughout the years. However, they are not without limitations. In recent years, more people have begun turning to dental implants to get back what was lost along with a natural tooth or teeth. There are several personal reasons why dental implants may be chosen for restorative purposes. What we find, though, is that all of these reasons come down to three specific benefits.


Teeth are present in the mouth for a specific purpose or set of purposes. Teeth need to be stable to fulfill their function in the mouth, which is primarily to break apart food. Teeth also butt up to one another to support alignment and a nice aesthetic. Even the roots of teeth are necessary for ultimate oral health, aiding in the regeneration of bone tissue beneath the surface so teeth can be secure for many decades. One of the notable advantages of dental implants is that they act so much like natural structure that they meet all of these goals.


When dentures are used for tooth replacement, there is a need for routine maintenance that consists of periodic adjustments for fit. This is because a standard denture has no impact on the bone in the jaw. Without structures within the jawbone, natural or man-made, the bone will deteriorate. When implants are inserted into the bone, they gradually become encased. This integration secures them for life.


Natural teeth need to be brushed and flossed daily to stay healthy and optimally functional. To replace the natural structure in the best possible way means to be able to do so without creating an obstacle to hygiene. Dentures are removed and soaked. Seems simple enough. However, the fact that these artificial structures are so fragile makes cleaning a somewhat complicated task. Remove and clean dentures over a towel. Don’t leave dentures in the mouth too long. Brush, but only with approved cleansers or abrasions will occur. This can all feel like a lot. It is a lot.  Dental implants bring more ease back into oral hygiene because they are essential corrosion-resistant posts that are surrounded by bone. Brushing and other simple hygiene that is aimed at preserving gum health take minutes a day.

Schedule your visit to our Northern Virginia office to learn more about dental implants.

Want to Restore your Smile with Dental Implants? Get out of your own Way!

Dental implants have been referred to as the gold standard in tooth replacement. The process of restoring function and appearance was a long time in the making. Just a little over a century ago, a large percentage of people who had lost teeth never had them replaced. Today, we wouldn’t dream of going without – or would we? Interestingly enough, as far as we have come in the area of tooth replacement, we continue to see patients get in their way of the ultimate in care. The way that they do so is by telling themselves stories about the care they need. Let’s take a look . . .

The Story about Age

It is fascinating to see patients so easily disqualify themselves from the care that could give them back all that they have lost. Sad because we know the extensive benefits of tooth replacement with dental implants. The tiny posts that are carefully inserted into the bone reinstate the stable foundation of natural teeth, and enable patients to chew without feeling concerned about artificial teeth failing or falling out. Implants are used for single-tooth replacement and can also hold full dentures firmly in place. In neither situation is age a requirement to obtain care, and yet we hear this statement far too often: “I’m too old for implants.”

It is important to know that age is hardly a factor in getting the care you need to restore your smile. Factors that are important include your lifestyle habits (smoking), oral health, and general health.

The Story about Need

Another way that patients disqualify themselves from care is by saying they don’t need implants to achieve the outcome they would like. Some go so far as to say tooth replacement isn’t necessary. This is like saying that it isn’t necessary to have teeth. But Mother Nature gave us teeth for a purpose! The need for teeth does not change as we go through life. Whether a small gap or a large one, the absence of teeth places the burden of chewing on those that remain, and this leads to a high susceptibility to damage.

As your Burke dentist, Dr. Price offers the services you need to enjoy a healthy, functional smile. Learn more about dental implants when you call (703)750-9404.

Tooth Replacement has Finally Come of Age

Dental ImplantsComing of age. This is something that happens in stages. When we are children, we look forward to visits from the tooth fairy as our baby teeth fall out of the mouth. This is an exciting time because it marks a path toward growing up. We know that new teeth will take the place of those we have lost. In adulthood, tooth loss is not something we expect to happen to us, even though we know it happens to others. This is an interesting fact, seeing that upwards of 30% of adults lose one or more teeth before they reach middle age.  Tooth loss in older adults, although largely preventable, is still looked at as a normal event. We need to move away from this mindset.

Another mindset we could do well to move away from is the perception that dentures and bridges are the norm in terms of tooth replacement. Dentistry has changed dramatically in terms of what is considered normal. Many centuries ago, objects such as shells were tried as stand-ins for natural teeth. Not so many centuries ago, human and animal teeth were used to create dentures. Only in the last 100 or so years did toothlessness among adults become less common. Today, everything from the appearance of false teeth to their foundation has evolved – thankfully!

Structure Rules

Advancements in technologies are often achieved through trial and error. Dental technologies are no different. As we can see from ancient civilizations, humans have recognized the value of teeth roots for ages. The problem that needed to be overcome was the issue of just how to get new roots into place. It was only halfway through the 1900s that science caught up, and dental implants were developed.

We are pleased to help our patients recapture the smile they once knew; a smile that not only looked natural but stayed in place at all times. There is no need to worry when you eat, smile, or speak. There is no need to settle for dentures that rub against your gums. Because it’s possible to set a new foundation on top of tiny titanium posts, tooth loss no longer has to mean living out your life in discomfort and self-consciousness.

If you are in Northern Virginia, you can learn more about dental implants by calling the office of Dr. Price at  (703)750-9404.





Get to Know the Benefits of Dental Implant Treatment

Dental ImplantsTooth loss is a problem for which centuries human effort has been invested. Come ancient civilizations even had the idea of implants, seeking a lasting solution for tooth loss with shells or human bone. In the last several decades, we have seen an impressive shift in tooth replacement thanks to modern day implants. These fixtures do not contain shell particles or bone tissue of any sort. They are made of quality titanium and placed with technique that achieves a number of benefits.

  • Conservative care. Most people do not like the idea of complex dentistry. However, some of the common methods of tooth replacement are actually more complicated than implants. Partial dentures and bridges are fixtures that rely on adjacent teeth for stability. As such, these methods cause more stress on remaining natural teeth. Because implants mimic the natural root structure, no anchoring on other teeth is necessary.
  • Natural look and feel. What could be better than a replacement tooth that feels just like your natural tooth did? Because implants are artificial roots that become stabilized in the jawbone, the final restoration has structural integrity that is most like natural teeth.
  • Full function. The stability achieved with implants has a significant effect on what you can eat, and how confident you feel about eating. This is especially relevant to people who would otherwise wear dentures. These fixtures lack the security of a root system, and can thus slide across the gums, or right across the floor, during a meal. Implants function just like natural teeth, so you can eat that steak, that apple, or any other food you would like.
  • Full sensation. An interesting note about implants as an alternative to a full upper denture is that, with the palate uncovered, you gain the entire sensation of flavors in various foods. When the tongue does not come into contact with the roof of the mouth, foods do not taste, well, tasty!
  • The restoration of confidence is one of the most important advantages of dental implant treatment, and one of the major reasons more and more patients are choosing this procedure.

You deserve the full effect of a healthy, attractive smile. To learn more about dental implants, call our Springfield office at (703)750-9404.



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