Some of the first dental implants originated all the way back to 600 AD, when tooth-like pieces of shell were hammered into jaws of Mayan women. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that not only preserves your natural bone, but actually helping to stimulate bone growth. Over 3 million people in the United States have implants, a number that is constantly growing 500,000 annually. Dental Implants can be a good choice for adults of most ages, whether you were born without a tooth or have had to have teeth removed due to injury, infection or decay. They can also be an option for adolescents, once facial growth and development has been completed. This usually occurs around age 16 for girls, and 18 for boys.
Dental implant placement usually involves the following steps:
Initial consultation: Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, which includes taking x-rays/3D images, discussing the various implant options as well as develop a plan for your implant surgery.
Dental implant placement: During your next scheduled appointment, your dentist will place the implant in your jawbone where the tooth is missing. Even though, each patient’s experience is different, most people experience less pain and discomfort than they expect, allowing them to usually return to work as soon as the next day. Local anesthesia is used at our office to keep you comfortable, depending on the procedure. Post-implant surgery discomfort is common to other dental surgery, which may include swelling, bruising and minor bleeding.
Osseointegration: During your healing process, your implant and jawbone will grow together in a process called osseointegration(os-e-o-in-tuh-gray-shun), which forms a long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. During this healing process, which can take up to a few months, you can go on with your everyday life and routine. You will also be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks to make sure your implants heal correctly.
Abutment placement: Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector-called an abutment- is placed on the dental implant just above the gumline. In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
Custom-made new teeth: Once your gums heal, your dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth-which can be an individual crown, implant supported bridge or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth-will be attached to the abutment. However, even though they don't decay, your new teeth will need the same routine care, checkups and cleanings as your natural teeth.
Periodic check ups: Depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive, the entire process can take three to nine months. After your dental implant placement is finished, you will continue to visit your dentist periodically for follow-up checkups.
Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss-mostly due to tooth decay, periodontal disease or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, dental implants are available for people.
Want to learn more about dental implants from Gentle Family Dentistry of Leesburg?
Call our Leesburg, VA office at (703) 737-0070 today to book an appointment