The Definitive Guide to Dental Implants
If you are thinking about getting a dental implant, or if you have already made the decision to have one placed, you might ask yourself what happens now? To some, the thought of having implants surgically placed in their mouths can be very intimidating and scary. Potomac Dental Centre says it does not have to be.
We understand your concerns, and that is why we put together a guide to help you understand every aspect of restoring your smile with dental implants in Hagerstown, Maryland.
1. What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
Some offices might take a number of appointments and over a year of healing time before they are finished restoring your dental implants. Here at Potomac Dental Centre, we can complete your dental implant in three easy visits.
The first step of getting your mini dental implant is to come in for a consultation. Our dentist, Dr. Everett Eklund, will listen to your concerns and help guide you while in the process of restoring your smile. At this appointment, a CT cone beam X-ray is recommended to evaluate the amount of bone you have. Our dentist will use the three-dimensional image to plan your case.
The next appointment will be the time of your implant placement. If an extraction is needed, Dr. Eklund will extract the tooth and graft the area by using a platelet-rich grafting made from your own blood called L-PRF grafting. (Read more information in section two.) After, a small incision is made in your gums, and a small hole is drilled into your jawbone.
Dr. Everett Eklund always aims to have the extraction and implant performed in a single procedure. This limits multiple appointments for the patient and promotes an overall comfortable experience. However, it can vary from person to person and depends on the condition of the underlying bone.
After the implant is placed, a team member will fabricate a temporary crown for you to wear. Dr. Eklund usually recommends one to two months to allow the implant to heal. This varies for each case.
After the healing time has taken place, Dr. Everett Eklund will take the impression to have your final crown fabricated. The impressions are sent to the dental lab, where they will create your custom zirconia crown. Within a few weeks, you will come for your last appointment to have the crown cemented onto the dental implant. In just a few simple visits, your dental implant will be restored.
2. Learn About L-PRF Grafting
You may or may not have heard of the L-PRF procedure. It is a procedure we frequently perform during extractions and implants to help improve the quality of bone. Since L-PRF comes from the patient, there is a 0% chance of rejection when using it as the only bone graft material.
What Is L-PRF?
When you suffer a small scrape on your knee, your body reacts by creating a clot to stop the bleeding, forming a scab and then finally regenerating new skin. L-PRF, also known as leukocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin, is similar. It is a platelet therapy that uses your own blood to help promote healing. One of our team members will draw your blood. The L-PRF grafting is then made by spinning samples of blood in a centrifuge. Because it uses your body’s own white blood cells, we do not have to worry about you having an allergic reaction. The white blood cells promote bone and tissue growth.
Potomac Dental Centre is one of the only offices in the area that offers the technology and training to perform L-PRF. We have found that placing the L-PRF grafting has resulted in faster healing after extractions and other dental surgeries. In addition, there is less inflammation, little pain and decreased amounts of implant failures for our patients.
If you are interested in implants but do not want to go through a year of appointments and healing, you should consider Potomac Dental Centre.
3. What to Expect During the Healing Process
Will it hurt? Since Dr. Everett Eklund is trained to perform a noninvasive way of placing implants, our patients find there is very little pain associated with the procedure. Depending on the difficulty of the extraction, you may need to take over-the-counter pain medication.
For most people, the swelling from the procedure goes down within 48 hours. In five to seven days, the gums should be pretty much healed.
During this time, the bone is healing around the implant. It is important not to disturb the healing process. We recommend not eating in the area for several weeks. If you have multiple areas of the mouth where implants have been placed, our dentist, Dr. Everett Eklund, and our team recommend a liquid or soft diet to make sure the implants heal successfully.
4. Deciding Which Prosthesis to Go With
We understand that making the decision on which tooth replacement option will work best for you might be overwhelming. Dr. Everett Eklund and our team will go over each option with you to help guide you toward which option will fit your budget and lifestyle.
- Single Implant Crown or Bridge
- Removable Acrylic Overdenture
- Fix on Six®
- Implant-Supported Fixed Zirconia Bridge
5. What Is the Maintenance for Dental Implants?
Dental implants should be cared for just like normal teeth and require regular care from a qualified dentist and hygienist every six months.
If you have had a denture made to fit over your implants, again, we stress the need for regular hygiene visits. In addition, within a fixed prosthesis, there is a rubber housing that can wear out in six months, which can cause damage to your implant if not replaced. Although the gum tissue around implants is fairly resistant to infection, you must keep your regular hygiene appointments, as a buildup of plaque will cause problems and possible bone loss from around your implants, resulting in their eventual loss.
Choosing the right dental treatment can feel overwhelming. There are so many choices of dentists and many treatment options. While making your decision, the key is to think about how it will affect your life. If you cannot eat the foods you love, struggle with a loose denture or just lack confidence in your smile, consider dental implants. Our patients love their implants because they are the closest things to their natural teeth. Here at Potomac Dental Centre, Dr, Everett Eklund will listen to your concerns and guide you through your treatment in a comforting environment. We love creating beautiful smiles so you can live confidently.
Hopefully, our definitive guide has helped you understand the benefits of dental implants. If Potomac Dental Centre sounds like it is the right office for your dental needs, we would love to meet with you!