When you have one or more missing teeth, your oral health is affected in ways that might surprise you. For example, did you know that when you’re missing a tooth, the surrounding teeth can shift and move into the empty space? If that happens, your bite may be affected and oral hygiene could become more difficult.
At Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Haidy Messih and Dr. Basma Armanious want you to enjoy the best dental health possible for as long as you can, so if you’re missing one or more teeth, we offer options for replacement. The one that’s considered the gold standard is a dental implant.
Many people imagine that getting an implant is a terribly painful process, but most of our patients say it’s not as bad as they thought it would be.
We aren’t going to tell you that undergoing a surgical procedure won’t hurt at all. However, you may find that getting an implant is less painful than an extraction.
We use local anesthetic so you’re comfortable during the procedure. And discomfort in the following hours and days as you begin to heal should be mild and can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription pain medications.
From start to finish, you need to come into our office three times to complete your tooth replacement.
The first step is the one most people dread the most: getting a titanium post implanted into your jawbone. This is your prosthetic tooth root that fuses to the bone, and it’s part of the reason dental implants are such an excellent tooth replacement option. We cover the top of the post while it’s healing so no food debris can get in and your gum tissue doesn’t grow down into it.
It takes several months for you to heal completely and for your jawbone to fuse to the titanium post. Once it does, the implanted “root” stimulates your jawbone each time you bite down — just like the roots of your natural teeth — keeping the bone healthy.
Once you’ve healed from the implant surgery and the post is set, you come back to the office so we can make a mold for your crown. The crown sits atop the titanium post and serves as your prosthetic tooth.
There is no pain involved in creating a crown. The mold we make is sent to a laboratory where a custom, permanent crown is manufactured. We’re careful to make sure it looks like your natural teeth.
When your crown comes back to us, you come in for one more step: placing your crown permanently. It connects to the implant root with an abutment, holding it firmly in place so you can talk and eat normally.
Once your implant is fused to your jawbone and your permanent crown is placed, it looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.
As you continue your normal, excellent dental hygiene routine, you don’t need to do anything special to take care of your implant. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and come in for a checkup and teeth cleaning every six months. With proper care, your dental implant can last a lifetime.
If you’d like to learn more, schedule an appointment at Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We’re happy to discuss your tooth replacement options and provide more details about dental implants. Call the office in Leesburg, Virginia, or book online.