Our Dental Implant Process
The entire dental implant process may take anywhere from weeks to months from start to finish. Here are some of the steps you can expect:
Step 1: The Consultation
Your first step is a consultation with Dr. Sonny Kim. As with any major surgical procedure you need to be educated on how the process works, advised of any risks, and informed on any additional treatments that may be necessary. During the consultation, Dr. Kim will evaluate your oral health and provide a preliminary course of action and an estimate of cost for your dental implant(s). You may take this time to ask any questions you might have about your treatment.
Step 2: Implantation of the Titanium Fixture
The first step in creating a dental implant is the surgical implantation of the titanium fixture. In a procedure done in our office, the fixture is inserted into the jawbone and hidden beneath the gums. This fixture will trigger the process of osseointegration, helping the titanium pieces to bond with your jawbone and secure it in place. This healing process may take weeks or months to complete depending on your oral and overall health.
Step 3: Affixing the Abutment and Restoration
After your titanium fixture is implanted and sufficiently healed, the next step is to cap the fixture with an abutment, a thimble-shaped piece that anchors the restoration (crown) in place. Depending on how your osseointegration is progressing, the abutment may be left to heal or the restoration may be placed on top in the same procedure.
Each restoration is unique to you, and your crown will be shaped and colored to match your natural teeth. Our goal is to create an implant where you can’t tell the difference between it and your natural smile.
Step 4: Post-Operative Care
Once your dental implant procedure is complete, it still needs time to heal. It is normal to experience some bleeding or swelling around the implant area. If you are experiencing other-than-normal symptoms, please call us immediately. We will want to check the implant site to ensure that no problems have occurred.
If your implant is tender, give it time to heal by eating soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, soups and stews before chewing on that side of your mouth.
If you’re ready to explore the option of dental implants, give us a call at Advanced Family Dentistry at 703-390-9191. We’ll be glad to consult with you about the process.