At James E Sullivan DDS, we can provide you with dental implant surgery to replace your missing tooth. Even though oral health care has improved, the majority of adults still lose at least one tooth during their lifetime. Whether this is due to old age, an accident, or gum disease, we have the most durable solution for replacing your teeth. This is the only procedure that replaces both your lost root and tooth, since dentures and dental bridges only replace the visible portion of your tooth. In order to place implants, we must conduct dental implant surgery, where a titanium post is inserted under the gums and secured to the jawbone. The bone and metal will fuse together through the process of osseointegration, creating a durable root system for your new tooth (crown) to be attached to. If you are considering this procedure, we encourage you to call (301) 248-8080 to schedule a consultation with our Fort Washington dental office.
Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect From the Actual Procedure
On the day you visit our Maryland dental office for surgery, you will be given anesthesia so you will not feel anything while the implant is being placed. The procedure itself can take anywhere from 30 minutes for a single implant to several hours. If you are having multiple teeth replaced with implants, we will let you know how long the process will take and whether or not you will need to have it completed over the course of two appointments.
Post-Operation Care for Dental Implants
Given that dental implant surgery is an invasive process, you can expect to have some swelling and sensitivity after the fact. While perfectly natural, you must take good care of your mouth in order to prevent an infection or unnecessary irritation. We suggest taking ibuprofen to decrease swelling and manage discomfort. You can also use an icepack or cold compress for 15 minutes at a time. At James E Sullivan DDS, we generally recommend taking a couple of days off work while you are recovering. After two to five days, you should feel normal again, though your gums may remain slightly sensitive for a little longer.
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Dental Implant Recovery FAQ
Here are a few questions we are regularly asked in our 20744 dental office.
What can I eat after oral surgery?
We recommend you eat foods that are soft and easy to chew or that require no chewing at all. A perfect example would be yogurt, warm soup, ice cream, smoothies, and steamed vegetables. Dr. James Sullivan can provide you with a more detailed list during your pre-operative consultation. You should also be sure to avoid food difficult to chew, like steak, or things that are sharp, like tortilla chips, since they can further irritate your gum tissue.
How long before I am back to normal?
Most of our Fort Washington patients report feeling normal within a week of dental implant surgery. The first couple of days will be the most uncomfortable, but every day you should feel slightly better, and ibuprofen or Tylenol should be enough to increase your comfort.
Is there any pain after dental implant surgery?
When you visit our 20744 dental office, we will discuss pain management with you. You will be given anesthesia during the actual procedure so you can relax and feel comfortable during the entire process. Afterwards, you can take over-the-counter medication to manage your pain, and by doing so as directed, you will remain fairly comfortable. The key is to stay ahead of your discomfort, so if the bottle says that you can take two pills every four hours – take them every four hours. As long as you do so, you should be able to go through your day without any severe discomfort.
Will my new tooth be attached right away?
When you come in for a consultation, Dr. James Sullivan can provide you with a good idea of when your new tooth will be attached. For the most part, we wait until the process of osseointegration has taken place and the titanium post has integrated into the jawbone. This provides the most durable base to attach your new crown to. Typically, this process can take anywhere from three to six months to complete, though there are other options we can explore if you are on a tight timeframe. To ensure your smile is intact while you wait, we can provide you with a temporary denture to wear. The denture will be attached using wires, similar to a retainer, and can come out whenever you want it to. This way, your smile will appear intact until we are ready to secure your new tooth (crown) in place. We will schedule you for a follow up visit to inspect your implant and give you a better idea of how the healing process is going at that time.
Can dental implants replace my dentures?
Yes, at James E Sullivan DDS, we place implants on a regular basis, giving them to patients who are tired of wearing removable dentures and want something more permanent. Since dentures can easily slip out of place, switching to implants can make it easier to eat, speak, and engage in normal daily activities. If you have worn dentures for some time, you may be suffering from resorption. If this is the case, your jawbone may not have sufficient density to support an implant. In this case, we may recommend a bone graft prior to getting started. To discuss this further, call 301-248-8080 and schedule an examination. After physically examining your teeth and taking x-rays, we can create a full treatment plan for you.
Dental Implant Surgery – What to Expect From Your Consultation
Before you can begin, we need to examine you and take x-rays to determine the density of your jawbone. This appointment will be non-invasive and comfortable. We can present you with all of the options available to you and discuss the ins and outs of each treatment solution. This will allow you to ask questions and select the option that is best for you. To get started, call our Fort Washington dental office at (301) 248-8080.
Helpful Related Links
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID). What Are Dental Implants. 2013
- American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). Implants Defined. 2015
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
About our business, license, and website security
- James E Sullivan DDS was established in 1989
- We accept the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
- We serve patients from the following counties: Prince George’s County & Montgomery County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Fort Washington, Silver Spring, Oxon Hill, Alexandria, Friendly, Waldorf, Accokeek, Andrews Field
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