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How Dental Implants Work – Gainesville, VA

The Dental Implant Procedure From Start To Finish

A dentist explaining how dental implants in Gainesville work

If you’re missing teeth, you’ve probably heard that dental implants are an outstanding way to restore the health, function, and appearance of your smile. But one common question is: How do they work? While the specific treatment plan varies between each person, the process always includes the same general steps. Below, you’ll find a short guide that explains the implant procedure from beginning to end. But if you’d like to know more about how dental implants work or want to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact us anytime. With the training and technology to handle the entire procedure in-house, Dr. Kim-Ngan Do will be happy to explain more!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dental patient having a consultation

We’ll start with a consultation so we can discuss any concerns you have about your oral health and your overall goals. After evaluating your medical and dental history, we’ll take images of your teeth and jaws to make sure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. From there, we’ll explain the next steps in more detail and answer any questions you have.

Some patients, particularly those who lost their teeth a long time ago, may not have enough bone mass or density in their jaws. Oftentimes, however, we can recommend a bone graft to strengthen the jaw and enable them to successfully get implants. Other patients may need different preliminary procedures such as tooth extractions or gum therapy before the surgery can be done.

Dental Implant Surgery

3D image of a dental implant in the lower jaw

Since Dr. Do has advanced dental implant training, you’ll have both the dental implant surgery and final restoration right here in our office. Our patients often comment that the surgery itself is easier than they expected, and it usually takes about 1 to 2 hours per implant.

The first step is numbing the area to make sure you stay comfortable. If you wish, you can also have sedation as well. Next, we’ll place the implant, which is a surgical-grade titanium post, in your jaw and put a “healing cap” over it. This protects the area and allows you to eat and drink normally during the osseointegration phase over the next several months.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment 

Digital image of a dental implant, abutment, and dental crown

Osseointegration is the process that occurs as your implant bonds or "fuses" with the jawbone around it. This is what ultimately provides a strong foundation of strength and stability that makes implants look and feel like natural teeth. It typically takes 3 to 6 months but could require more in certain cases.

After the osseointegration phase is complete, Dr. Do will remove your healing cap and place an abutment on your implant. This is a type of adaptor that connects the implant to its final restoration. 

Placement of Dental Implant Restorations 

Lastly, we’ll restore your implant (or implants) with a custom-made dental crown, bridge, or denture. Your new prosthetic teeth will not only look natural but also have the strength and durability to last for many years. We’ll also talk about how to maintain your new smile with good oral hygiene habits at home and regular checkups and cleanings with us. Then we’ll finish by answering any questions you have.