Understanding the Dental Implant Process

Dental implants often provide patients with a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution for missing teeth. At Totally Smiles in Gaithersburg, MD, our experienced dental team offers state-of-the-art dental implant restorations to improve your smile and your oral health. Dental implants serve as a long-term solution, offering numerous benefits such as improved chewing ability, enhanced appearance, and better overall oral health.  

Dental implants serve as a long-term solution, offering numerous benefits such as improved chewing ability.

Pre-Surgery Consultation

Evaluation of Oral Health

Before beginning the dental implant process, your dentist conducts a thorough evaluation of your oral health. This includes examining your gums and jawbone to determine if you have enough bone density to support the implant. Ensuring your mouth is free of infections is crucial for the success of the procedure.

Discussion of Treatment Plan

The pre-surgery consultation also involves an in-depth discussion about your treatment plan. Your dentist provides a detailed overview, explaining each step of the process and answering any questions you may have. This stage ensures you are comfortable and well-informed about the upcoming procedure.  

X-rays and Impressions

To create a precise treatment plan, we take comprehensive X-rays and impressions of your teeth and jaw. These images help us understand the exact placement of the dental implant and ensure a customized fit for your new tooth.  

Implant Surgery

Procedure Overview

To provide you with the best care, we coordinate your treatment with a local oral surgeon for implant placement. At your appointment, your surgeon administers local anesthesia to ensure the area is numb and you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. The surgery could take a few hours, depending on the number of implants being placed.  

During the surgery, your surgeon makes a small incision in the gum to expose the jawbone. Then, a titanium post is inserted into the bone, serving as the artificial root for your new tooth. This biocompatible material fuses with the bone over time for a strong and stable foundation.

Healing Process

After the implant placement, the healing process begins. Osseointegration, where the bone and implant fuse together, typically takes a few months. During this period, it is essential to follow specific aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon to promote proper healing.  

Restoration Phase

Attaching the Abutment

Once the implant has fully integrated with the jawbone, the next step involves attaching the abutment. Your dentist will place this connector piece, which serves to link the implant to the artificial tooth. This minor procedure usually takes a short time and requires minimal downtime.  

Customizing the Dental Crown

At Totally Smiles, we take great care in customizing your dental crown. Using impressions and digital scans, we can create a crown that matches the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth. This helps your new tooth blend seamlessly with your existing teeth, providing a natural look.  

Final Adjustments

After placing the dental crown, your dentist will make any necessary final adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. Proper alignment is crucial for comfort and functionality. These adjustments ensure that your new tooth feels and functions like a natural tooth.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Post-Surgery Instructions

Following the implant surgery, you will receive detailed post-surgery instructions. Adhering to these guidelines can help minimize discomfort and promote healing. Instructions may include advice on diet, oral hygiene, and medications to manage pain or swelling.  

Regular Check-ups and Cleanings

Regular check-ups and cleanings at Totally Smiles are critical for the long-term success of your dental implants. We will monitor your implant and the surrounding tissues to ensure everything remains healthy and functional. Professional cleanings will help maintain the health of your gums and teeth.

Long-Term Care Tips

Following a few simple tips will help ensure the longevity of your dental implants. Brushing and flossing daily, avoiding hard or sticky foods, and using a mouth guard if you grind your teeth at night can all contribute to the durability of your implant. Your dentist will provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs. 

At Totally Smiles in Gaithersburg, MD, our goal is to provide our patients with the highest quality of care throughout the dental implant process. From the initial consultation to the final restoration, we strive to ensure your experience is comfortable and successful. Contact us today to learn more about how dental implants can transform your smile.