Understanding the dental implant process can help patients feel more at ease about their upcoming appointment. If you are considering dental implants to restore your missing teeth, we are here to help you feel confident that this is the right option for you. As your trusted restorative dentists in Laurel, MD, our doctors are happy to answer any questions you might have about your procedure. Below is a general timeline that reflects the dental implant process.
Dental Implant Procedure in Laurel MD
To begin, Dr. Goyal will consult with you on your tooth restoration options. To be a candidate for dental implants, you must be in relatively good dental health to ensure that your gums and jawbone can sustain a dental implant. If it is determined that you are a candidate for dental implants, X-rays and dental impressions will need to be taken to ensure that we can begin crafting a dental implant that is custom to your smile.
At Laurel Smiles, we take our time during this step to ensure that the dental implant you are investing in will fit snuggly within your smile. By the end of this appointment, both you and our doctors will have a clear understanding of your treatment plan and what your personalized dental implant timeline will be.
The next step is the surgical procedure. During this step, you should not experience any pain or discomfort thanks to a local anesthetic and other sedation dentistry options of your choosing. A small incision will be made into your soft tissues so that Dr. Goyal may surgically implant the titanium post into your jawbone.
It will take some time for the post to heal and properly fuse to your jawbone. In the meantime, you will still have a gap in place of the missing tooth. Keeping the incision site clean will help ensure fast and thorough healing. As it heals, osseointegration takes place. While healing may take several months to complete, osseointegration will give your dental implant a solid base and provide tooth-root functionality.
Once your post has completely healed, an abutment will need to be added on top of the post. The abutment will eventually support your dental crown. This procedure is shorter than the surgical procedure done prior. During this procedure, your gum tissue is closed around, but not over, the abutment. It will be another two weeks at least before the dental crown will be attached to the abutment.
Once the abutment is completely healed, a porcelain dental crown will be secured to the abutment. The dental crown is a realistic-looking prosthetic tooth that takes the place of your missing tooth. Once attached to the abutment, it should completely replace your missing tooth, leaving your smile looking as good as new.
Final Restoration Options
The most common final restoration for a dental implant is a custom dental crown. They’re made tailored to each individual so that they fit perfectly in your smile. If you’re getting a single dental implant, this is the only option you have available. The materials used can be color-matched so that they look natural when you smile. If you desire, you can get individual dental crowns for each implant that’s placed.
If you have two or more consecutive missing teeth, dental implants can support a fixed dental bridge. The implants will act as the anchor teeth on each end of the bridge. A removable bridge puts stress on the natural teeth that are used to anchor. These teeth are more likely to suffer from damage, excessive wear, and tooth decay. Dental crowns can be used to help strengthen the anchor teeth, but that involves shaving down natural tooth structure.
Lastly, dental implants can support a full fixed denture. You can get the benefits of dental implants without the cost of an individual implant for every one of your missing teeth. A denture is fixed on a few implants placed in the jawbone. You don’t need adhesive to make sure they stay in and you don’t have to worry about them sliding when you bite into something. With implant-supported dentures, you get back 100% of your bite function.
Schedule An Appointment
Don’t be intimidated by the dental implant process. Our team is here to help you through it, and we will do our best to make it as easy as possible for you. Please schedule an appointment with Laurel Smiles to begin your dental implant process.