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Dental implant surgery involves the precise surgical placement of titanium posts into the jaw. All steps of your dental implant surgery are completed in our state-of-the-art facility in Fairfax, VA. At Fairfax Dental, our dentists want to ensure you are prepared for your dental implant surgery and know what to expect throughout each phase. Fully understanding the procedure can help ease any anxiety you might have about the process. The dentists at Fairfax Dental possess extensive training and experience in implant placement, and will take every step to reduce your risk of complications, and ensure success.
The first step of dental implant surgery is the examination and planning phase. We use the Vatech Pax-i3D digital x-ray system to determine candidacy for dental implants and plan the surgery. With this advanced imaging software, we can more accurately determine optimal placement of your implants. This can also show us if you are lacking necessary bone density. If so, we may recommend a bone graft or sinus lift to rebuild lost bone.
In general, our doctors can complete most implant placement procedures with local anesthetic, and offer sedation throughout the various phases of treatment. Many patients who are nervous or anxious about the procedure benefit from sedation, which helps to remain calm and relaxed. It can also help during lengthier procedures such as this one.
After sedation and local anesthesia have been administered, we will prepare the dental implant site(s). To do this, our surgeons will create incisions in the gums to create flaps, which we will fold back to expose the underlying bone. Then, we will create small holes that will house the implant posts.
Once the holes are the proper depth and width, we can place the implants. This is done with a series of instruments that help to ensure proper placement. Once all implants are secure, we will place a flat healing cap over the end of the screw. This serves to protect the implant from bacteria and infections while you heal. When the healing caps are in place, we will restore the gum flaps we created and suture them in place.
The recovery process after implant surgery is lengthy. This phase is referred to as osseointegration and can take anywhere between three and six months. During this time, the implants will fuse with your bone. To avoid disturbing this critical process, you must eat primarily soft foods and very gently brush and floss your teeth and gums. Too much pressure from chewing could result in implant failure. The stitches in your gums will dissolve in about 10 days, and pain and swelling should dissipate over the next few weeks.
Fully understanding the procedure can help ease any anxiety you might have about the process.
Once the osseointegration phase is complete, you will return for the placement of the abutment(s). We will again create flaps in your gums and fold them back to expose the healing cap. We will remove the healing caps and replace them with the abutments to which your final restoration will attach. After the abutments are in place, our surgeons will reposition the gums around them. You must typically wait about another week for your gums to heal before we can place your final crown, bridge, or denture.
If you are interested in a permanent restorative solution for your missing teeth, contact Fairfax Dental today to schedule a consultation. Our skilled dentists will conduct a thorough examination using advanced dental technologies to help determine your candidacy.