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A Step by Step Guide to Dental Implants

February 15, 2023
a drawing of a dental implant

Dental implants are the best restorative treatment if you need to replace missing teeth. Dental implants benefit your overall health, improve the function of your jaw, and maintain your facial appearance by preventing the loss of jawbone. Dental implants can replace one, several, or all teeth in the upper or lower arch. But what should you expect if you decide to get dental implants? Here is a step-by-step guide to the dental implant process.

#1: Dental Implant Consultation

When you first meet with a dental implant specialist, they will conduct a thorough examination and evaluation of your oral health. Imaging scans will be used to evaluate the density, height and width of your jaw bone, and to confirm that you are a good candidate for an implant. 

Many patients will be approved for dental implantation right away. If you are approved for dental implants, the high-resolution images that were taken will be used to precisely identify the proper placement of the implant. In certain situations, Dr. Sreeni will decide if you will need live navigation (X-Nav) for placement of your implants. 

Other patients, particularly those who have been missing teeth for an extended period may require a bone grafting procedure before getting dental implants. A bone grafting procedure is necessary if you do not have sufficient jaw bone to support the implant. Bone grafting involves placing a graft (often from cow bone, or the back of your own  jaw) on the weakened portion of the jaw. The graft will stimulate bone growth. Full recovery and the growth of new bone sufficient to support a dental implant typically take 4-6 months.

#2 Surgery to Place the Dental Implants

The next step will be the surgical placement of the dental implants into the jaw bone. Using technologically advanced programs known as “guided implant placement,” your dental implant specialist will surgically implant the biocompatible screws or posts (implants) into your jaw minimizing complications to the nerve and sinus. 

If you are getting full-size dental implants, you are likely to have the option of a temporary fixed tooth over the implants within 48 hours and over the next several months a process called osseointegration will take place. Osseointegration is a process in which the bone fuses to the implanted screw, just like they do with natural tooth roots.  This process often takes 4-6 months.

However, patients who aren’t yet missing a tooth but need to have a tooth extracted can, in most cases, have a dental implant placed immediately following extraction. There is also an option of having a retainer made ahead of time that is removable and can be placed the same day as surgery to replace the missing tooth. Ask which option is best for you at time of the consultation. 

#3 Attachment of Artificial Teeth to the Implants

Once the implanted post or screw has fused with the bone and tissue, your permanent restorations (dental crowns) will be attached to the posts by your restorative dentist. You will need to see Dr. Sreeni four months after implant placement for him to confirm the healing process before you see your dentist to have the crown made. You also need to make one final appointment with Dr. Sreeni after your crown placement for him to check how your gums are responding to the new crown that has been placed.  You will need to take care to brush twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular examinations and cleanings.  

Book a Dental Implant Consultation in Rockville, MD

As our name implies, the Dental Implant Center of Rockville specializes in dental implants. Dr. Sreeni has been a pioneer in the implantology space, helping countless patients to enjoy a restored quality of life thanks to dental implants. To book a consultation for dental implants, call 301-294-8700, or send us a message.

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Dental Implant Center of Rockville OMFS-MD, P.A.
77 South Washington Street, Suite 205
Rockville, MD 20850
Fax: 301-294-9007
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77 South Washington Street, Suite 205 Rockville, MD 20850
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