Understanding the dental implant process can help patients feel more at ease about their upcoming treatment. 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. Our dentist office provides expert restorative dentistry in Laurel, MD and our doctors are happy to answer any questions you might have about your dental implant process.
Dental Implant Process in Laurel MD
The dental implant process takes place in several stages. Below is a general timeline that reflects the dental implant process that each patient will go through.
Consultation and Treatment Planning
To begin, Dr. Clark will consult with you about 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 you are a candidate for dental implants, we will take X-rays and dental impressions to begin creating a custom treatment plan.
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.
Surgical Placement of Dental Implant
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. Your dentist will make a small incision in your soft tissues and then implant the titanium post into your jawbone. Dr. Clark will close your gums up with sutures or attach a healing cap to the implant posts.
Healing and Osseointegration
The post will take some time to heal and properly fuse to your jawbone. In the meantime, we may be able to place a temporary dental restoration. However, some patients will 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 posts have completely fused with the bone, your dentist will secure abutments to the top of the posts. The abutments will eventually support your dental restoration. 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.
Securing the Final Dental Restoration
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.
What Kind of Dental Restoration Will You Need?
The most common final restoration for a dental implant is a custom dental crown. We will tailor it to each individual, so they fit perfectly in your smile. If you’re getting a single dental implant, this is the only option you have available. We only use materials that will match the color of your other teeth so they blend with your smile. If you desire, you can get individual dental crowns for each implant.
Dental implants can support a fixed dental bridge if you have two or more consecutive missing teeth. The implants will act as anchor teeth on each end of the bridge. A removable bridge puts stress on the anchor teeth. These teeth are more likely to suffer 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 in the jawbone. You don’t need adhesive to ensure 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.
Book a Dental Implant Consult in Laurel, MD
The dental implant process may be longer than your other option, the end result is the most natural tooth replacement available. Our team is here to help you through it, and we will do our best to make it as easy as possible. Please schedule an appointment with Laurel Smiles to begin your dental implant process.