Dear patients.

We are happy to say that we are now open and operating under our full schedule.

COVID-19 has been a very difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care, and we deeply appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Your health and well-being continue to be our highest priority, and we opened with carefully planned and revised office procedures to greatly minimize the risk of infection for our patients and our team members. Our own families are also patients here, so you can be assured that we’ll be taking care of you just as well as we’ll be taking care of them.

For your peace of mind, the measures we are taking to provide a safe dental treatment experience include, but are not limited to, the following:

Upon Your Arrival at the Office

●     Patients will be screened BEFORE treatment and temperatures will be checked. Any patients showing signs of a fever or other symptoms of illness will be asked to reschedule their appointment.

●     ONLY patients will be allowed entry into the office. Parents and other family members will be asked to wait outside whenever possible.

●     Patients are asked to wait in their cars or outside the office until their scheduled appointment time.

●     The waiting area chairs will be spaced apart to allow for 6 feet of distancing.

●     We will ask that you continue to practice social distancing measures in common areas of the office, including the front desk.

●     The front door and the door between the waiting area and operatories will be propped open all day.

●     There will be no physical contact with patients with the exception of treatment.

During Treatment

●     All rooms will be COMPLETELY sterilized before each patient is seated, and public areas, including restrooms, will be cleaned and sterilized frequently throughout the day.

●     All operatories have high-volume air filtration and we have installed a whole office purification system. This system will kill the Covid virus along with other contaminates

●     Our team will STRICTLY follow guidelines set forth by the CDC, OSHA, and ADA in regards to personal protective equipment (PPE) and office sterilization.

●     During patient care, goggles or face shields will be worn by everyone and changed between patients.

●     All surfaces that came in contact with the patient will be wiped with disinfectant including the patient chair.

Checking Out After Your Appointment

●    We will be requesting prepayments when we know the amount of payment which will expidite your visit 

●     All efforts will be made to complete scheduling in the back of the office so you can leave without stopping at the front desk

We are proceeding with an abundance of caution, but we want you to feel as confident as we do that any visit you make to our office will be a safe one.

We also realize that many of you have been impacted financially during this outbreak, and we have solutions to keep dental care affordable for you and your family.

To discuss these payment options, schedule an appointment, or ask us any questions you may have about your next visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 757-473-8482

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Parr, Dr. Frey and the Smile Center Team

Mini Dental Implants vs. Traditional Implants

mini vs. traditional implants
Mini dental implants are smaller in diameter than traditional implant posts.

There are several types of dental implants that can be used to replace missing teeth, including standard and mini implant posts. Traditional implants are larger than mini implants and provide a more stable, long-term solution. However these implants also require sufficient jawbone tissue for support. Patients with jawbone atrophy may not qualify for traditional implants without a preliminary bone graft. Fortunately, mini implants provide a solid alternative. Smaller in diameter, mini implants do not require as much healthy tissue and can restore a single tooth or an entire dental arch without the need for preliminary treatment. Your dentist can review the differences between mini dental implants vs. traditional implants at your initial consultation.

dental implant
A dental implant is embedded in the jaw and can support a crown, bridge, or denture.

Understanding the Differences

In conjunction with implant-supported restorations, mini dental implants and traditional implants replace missing teeth. The implant posts act as synthetic tooth roots and help to keep the jawbone strong and healthy. Depending on the extent of tooth loss, both options can stabilize custom crowns, bridges, or dentures. Though traditional and mini implants serve the same function, there are important differences to consider.

Size

Mini dental implants are significantly smaller in diameter than traditional posts. Whereas a standard post ranges from 3.5mm to 6mm, a mini implant can be anywhere from 2mm to 3.5mm wide. Because of their size, mini implants have less impact on the jawbone and require less bone for support. However, keep in mind that smaller posts may not be as stable as larger posts. As a result, minis can pose a higher risk of implant failure. 

Shape

Traditional implants feature two pieces: a post and an abutment. The abutment serves to connect the implant to the restoration. A mini implant, on the other hand, is a solid one-piece screw. It consists of a post and a ball-shaped end that rises above the gum line. Restorations crafted for mini implants are fabricated with a rubber O ring that fits around the ball. 

Candidacy

To qualify for traditional dental implants, you must have a strong and sturdy jawbone, as well as sufficient space for implants to reside. Jawbone atrophy can compromise the success of your treatment, causing implants to weaken or fail altogether. If you have sustained bone degeneration after tooth loss, you may require a preliminary bone graft to restore the integrity of your jaw before undergoing traditional implant treatment. You may also need a sinus lift if bone recession has affected the height of your sinus floor.

Patients with a receding jawbone may be eligible for mini implants.

In comparison to their full-sized counterparts, mini implants do not require as much jawbone tissue for support. Patients with a receding jawbone may be eligible for mini implants without the need for preparatory procedures. However, because minis are not as strong as larger posts, they may not be appropriate for patients who struggle with teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism). Bruxism can place enormous pressure on teeth, and over time, the force can weaken mini implants.

Placement

Mini implants can often be placed in a single office visit, without the need for sutures. Traditional implants, on the other hand, require two procedures. The first surgery is more extensive than that of mini implants, as your doctor must create a larger pilot hole for the implant posts. The second surgery is minor and involves uncovering the post and attaching the abutment.

Recovery and Restoration

If you require a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift, you must wait six to nine months for your jaw to heal before implants can be placed. After traditional implant surgery, you must wait an additional three to six months for the posts to integrate with surrounding tissue before you can receive your restoration.

As mini dental implants do not typically require a preliminary procedure, the treatment timeline is reduced significantly. In many cases, patients can also receive temporary restorations on the same day as treatment. With same-day restorations, patients can leave the office with renewed dental function and a well deserved boost in confidence. 

Cost

Mini implants usually cost less than traditional posts because they are smaller and made with less material. However, keep in mind that you may need more mini implants to support a larger restoration. As a result, it is important to consider the complexity of the treatment, the materials used, and your dentist's experience when calculating the cost.

The Smile Center

The Smile Center

The Smile Center in Virginia Beach has been providing high-quality dental care since 1988. We are proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (757) 473-8482 today.

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Virginia Beach Office

200 Grayson Rd
Ste 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

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