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A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant

A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

February 21, 2024

Dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement. They provide patients with an artificial tooth that looks and functions just like the real thing. But, while you may know the outcome of the procedure, what does the process of getting a dental implant look like? 

Below is an overview of what you can expect from the initial consultation to the placement of the tooth. 

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants? 

One of the first things that must be determined is whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants. While many patients find them the best solution, there are instances in which they are not — and alternative options must be sought.

Simply put, a good candidate will have good jaw bone density, good oral health, and be in good overall health. 

Visiting your dentist for an initial consultation is a great way to get started. Imaging, examination, and impressions may be done during this time to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you are, your appointment to place the implant will be scheduled. 

Or, if you need additional dental care to be eligible, such as an extraction, bone grafting, or deep cleaning for periodontitis, a treatment plan will be developed to address these things first. 

Placing Your Dental Implants

We only assist with implant restoration in our office, so we will refer you to an oral surgeon for the surgical placement of the implant. The procedure itself is rather quick, but you will have to wait a while — usually 4 to 6 months — before moving on to the next phase. 

The reason? Osseointegration. This is when the implant and the jawbone fuse as if it were a real root. As a result, you will have a sturdy anchor for your artificial tooth. 

Adding the Abutment

The addition of the abutment is the next step in the dental implant process. The abutment is what securely holds the dental crown in place as it connects to the implant itself.

Placing the abutment requires another dental procedure as the dentist will need to access the implant underneath the gums.

Additional time will be needed for the gums to heal before proceeding, usually about a month or so. 

Your New Artificial Tooth

Finally, the last step in the dental implant process is adding your new artificial tooth. A dental crown that is custom-designed to match your teeth in shape, color, size, contour, and so forth will be attached to your abutment so that it is held securely in place. 

Your dentist may require you to come back in for a follow-up visit just to make sure your dental implant is a success. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dental implants covered by dental insurance? 

Whether or not dental implants are covered by dental insurance will depend on the policy. Today, most dental insurance companies will cover dental implants in part. Reach out to your insurance carrier to learn about your specific coverage. 

Are dental implants painful? 

Because local anesthesia is used during the procedures, you should not feel any pain. As it begins to wear off, you may have some temporary discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medicine is usually all that is needed to ease the pain. 

Dental Implants at Harmony Dental Center

Are dental implants right for you? Replacing a missing tooth is crucial — and dental implants are the best solution. If you are interested in learning more or finding out if you are a good candidate, the experienced team at Harmony Dental Center can help. 

Contact us today at 703-779-7779. Or request an appointment online. 

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Harmony Dental Center of Leesburg

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19461 Golf Vista Plaza
Leesburg, VA 20176

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