One of the aspects that patients may get wrong about dental implant treatment is how long the process takes. There are a lot of misconceptions out there: some think it’s instant, others think it lasts a year or more. But in actuality, it can last for four to six months at most. Take a look below at the steps to a complete smile with Dr. Kim in Reston, VA.
The first step towards a complete smile is to consult with Dr. Kim. Like any major surgical procedure, you need to be educated about how the process works, any risks, or additional treatments you may need. During this time, patients will have their oral health evaluated and can also ask Dr. Kim any questions they may have about their treatment.
After this consultation, you’ll receive an estimate of the cost for your dental implant(s), and a treatment plan as well. This way, you’ll be fully informed about the time and commitment needed before you commit to the procedure.
The first part of the implant to be placed is the implant fixture, which is placed in the jawbone and hidden beneath the gums. Constructed from titanium, it’s also what triggers the process of osseointegration, wherein the titanium pieces bond with human bone. The bone wraps fibers around the implant and secures it. As you can imagine, this process is not instant, but instead takes weeks or months to complete. This will all depend on the state of your oral health.
After your fixture has been firmly implanted, and undergone osseointegration, the next step is to cap the fixture with an abutment, a thimble-shaped piece that anchors the restoration in place. Depending on the progression of your osseointegration, sometimes the abutment is left to heal or has the restoration placed on top in the same procedure.
The restoration itself is unique to you, wherein we can shape and color the crown to look similar to the rest of your teeth. Our goal is that even your close friends and family won’t be able to tell the difference between your implant and your real teeth.
Now that your dental implant is complete, you may think it’s time to smile wide and eat whatever you want, but not so fast. Give your implant some time to heal: it’s normal to experience some bleeding or swelling around the implant area, but if you’re experiencing other alarming or strange symptoms, give us a call for a check-up.
In terms of food, your implant is still tender and may need some time to heal before you can tackle those foods you love. Stick to soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, soups, and stews before chewing on that side of your mouth with solid foods.
Are you ready to take that first step towards a complete smile here in Reston, VA? With Dr. Sonny Kim, your complete smile is within reach. Contact us today to learn more about your candidacy, and what your dental implant journey could look like.