Dental implants function, feel, and look just like natural teeth. For those looking to fill in the gaps in their smile, implants provide a proper replacement that will last forever. Dental implants require several steps to complete, however, to prepare yourself for the journey to a perfect smile.
Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili of Fairfax Family Dentist in Fairfax, Virginia, can consult with you about dental implants, and place a perfect restoration for you once your implant process is complete.
Determining if implants are right for you
Before your dental implant surgery can be scheduled, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Yalamanchili, who will take the time to learn more about your situation, discuss your goals, and explain the implantation process in detail.
Not everyone is right for dental implants, so we’ll ask the following questions to determine if they’re right for you.
- Do you smoke or chew tobacco?
- How is your oral hygiene and gum health?
- How long have your teeth been missing?
Factors like age and overall health can also affect your candidacy for dental implants. Older adults who are missing many teeth might be more comfortable opting for dentures or bridges, while those with severe health conditions might not be safe to undergo dental surgery.
The implantation process
Dental implants are a simple concept: A titanium post is implanted in your jaw, an abutment is added, and a crown is fixed into place.
If you’ve experienced bone loss in your jaw, a bone graft might be necessary before implantation. Your dentist will explain this procedure in more detail if it’s necessary for you.
During surgery, the endosteal post is planted deep into your jaw, where it will act as the new “root” for your tooth. From there, your jawbone grows around this implant in a process known as osseointegration. This can take some time, so you’ll recover at home before returning to the surgeon later.
Once the post is fully integrated, it is sturdy enough to place the abutment, which is the part that protrudes from your jaw and holds the new tooth. During this minor surgery, your dental surgeon will attach the abutment to the post before closing your gum tissue.
After your gums have healed, your new tooth can be placed. Dr. Yalamanchili will take an impression of your teeth to make sure that the replacement tooth fits right in with the rest of your teeth.
Recovery and results
Dental implant surgery is done in steps so your jaw and gums can heal in between procedures. Your surgeon will provide medication and advice to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. During your recovery, we’ll check up on you to make sure that everything is healing normally.
After your recovery, you can enjoy the results. Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function just like normal teeth. As long as you practice good dental hygiene, there is a good chance that you will have your implant(s) forever.
Interested in learning more about dental implants? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Yalamanchili by calling 703-213-5313, or visit the contact page for more information.