At Expressions Dental Care in Reston, Virginia, we believe every patient deserves a sensational smile. This article focuses on the preparation needed for a dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
Simply stated, a dental implant is a metal post, usually titanium, placed into the jawbone. A support called an abutment and artificial tooth go on top of the post. Implants can also support a dental bridge or dentures.
Who can benefit from dental implants?
Ideal candidates for a dental implant include patients with missing teeth, dentures, or bridges who have healthy oral tissue, sufficient bone structure, and proper health for bone healing. For most of our patients who seek tooth restoration, a dental implant is a good option.
What preparation is needed?
An initial visit to Expressions Dental Care is the first step. For this evaluation be sure to bring pertinent medical information, your current medication list, and questions you have about the process. Dental implants take multiple visits and the process is different for each person so be sure you understand all the details. If we determine that you don’t have enough bone structure at the implant site, bone grafting may be needed.
How do I ensure successful healing?
Avoid drugs or medications not approved by your dental caregiver. Eat soft foods for a while to give your mouth time to heal after the implant is inserted. Keep the mouth cleaned properly around the site. Follow the counsel given at each visit. Stay healthy by eating a nutritious diet and getting proper rest. Refrain from smoking or other tobacco products.
How do I care for dental implants?
Caring for implants is not much different than caring for original teeth. Obviously, the artificial tooth can’t get cavities, but it must be kept clean with brushing and flossing.
Be sure to skip damaging, harmful habits such as chewing hard items (ice or candy), and seek treatment for teeth grinding if it is an issue for you. See us every six months for a cleaning and checkup.
The complete protocol can take a few months from initial visit to the placement of the abutment and artificial tooth. At your initial consultation, we can discuss the cost of and think about financing options.
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