Our many Harford County, MD area patients have grown to love dental implants on account of their ability to provide beautiful, natural-looking replacement teeth that work and feel just as good as their natural teeth. And, the fact that Dr. Richard Grubb has a success rate of over 90% only makes the treatment even more attractive for our patients suffering from missing teeth. However, without even talking to us, some patients have come to the conclusion that the implant process must be very complicated. Fortunately, this is not true. The dental implant process can actually be broken down into four basic steps, with one optional step for patients who need it. We encourage you to read on to learn more about these steps and what each entails.
Before you can have your dental implants placed, you must first attend a consultation with Dr. Grubb. During this consultation, the doctor will carefully examine your oral health, checking the density of your gums and jawbone to make sure that they are strong enough to support dental implants. Not only will Dr. Grubb take the time to answer any questions you may have about the implant procedure, but he will also suggest supplemental procedures if your oral health requires it.
For some patients, their journey to a complete smile with dental implants can be delayed because their oral health isn’t strong enough to support dental implants. Fortunately for these patients, they may simply need a supplemental procedure before they will be able to have their implants placed. The most common supplemental procedures we provide at our practice are bone grafting, for patients with jawbone deterioration, and soft tissue augmentation, for patients with gum recession.
Once your oral health is approved, you will return to our office for your implant placement surgery. During this procedure, an implant fixture is placed in the empty spot left behind by your missing tooth. Once in position, the area is stitched up so that the area can heal. At this point, Dr. Grubb may choose to attach an abutment and temporary replacement tooth to your implant fixture. However, it is not unusual to wait until after the recovery period before these pieces are attached.
With your implant fixture in place, your mouth will need time to heal. This part of the implant process is incredibly important as this is when osseointegration occurs. Osseointegration is a natural process that works to integrate your implant fixture into your oral anatomy, allowing it to become a natural piece of your jaw structure. Thanks to osseointegration, your dental implant is regarded by your body as being no different than one of your natural teeth. It is also thanks to this process that dental implants receive many of their exclusive benefits.
After about four to six months, your implant fixture will be fully healed and osseointegration will have finished. At this point, you will return to our office in order to have your restoration placed. At this point, we will also place the abutment onto your fixture if this wasn’t done directly after your implant surgery. Your restoration will depend on your needs, and can come in the form of a porcelain crown, a dental bridge, or an overdenture. Regardless of which restoration you choose to use, it will be custom made for you based on scans taken of your remaining natural teeth. This allows us to provide beautiful replacement teeth that perfectly blend in with your real teeth, which means they will not stand out to outside observers.
Have you done your research and decided that dental implants can provide the best possible replacements for your missing teeth? Then contact our office and schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Richard Grubb. We look forward to beginning the process with you soon!