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How Dental Implants Work – Marietta, GA

Steps for Filling in Your Smile’s Gaps

Even though it takes multiple visits to place and restore implants, on the whole the process is rather simple and straightforward. Dr. Merriman will only move forward with the process once you’re feeling well-informed and confident about what needs to happen to fully restore your smile. Below you’ll find the various steps that all patients will need to complete after they’ve decided to get dental implants in Marietta; please call our office if you still feel like there’s something you don’t understand.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Gloved hand pointing to model of dental implants in Marietta, GA

Of course, there would be no point in scheduling dental implant surgery if you weren’t a good candidate for the procedure in the first place! Before anything else, we’ll need to schedule a consultation to discuss the current state of your mouth as well as your goals for treatment. This visit will include a thorough evaluation of your mouth and jaw in order to confirm that you have healthy gums and a sufficient amount of bone in the areas where the implant needs to be placed. Dr. Merriman might decide to arrange for a few preparatory treatments – such as a bone graft – before beginning the implant process in earnest.

Dental Implant Surgery

Young man in dentist’s chair for dental implant consultation

On the day of the procedure, we’ll have determined exactly where the implant posts need to go and the appropriate angle for inserting them into the jaw. As for the surgery itself, your mouth will be numbed with local anesthesia, and we’ll create an appropriate number of holes for the implant posts to be placed. After making sure they’re in the best possible position, the gums will be closed and left to heal. Implant placement is considered an extremely safe procedure that has a success rate of up to 98%; you’ll rarely, if ever, have to worry about implant failure or other complications.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment 

3D illustration of dental implant in jaw with real teeth

Any discomfort you experience after the procedure should fade after a relatively short amount of time, but it will be about 4 to 6 months before your mouth can be said to have fully healed. During this time, the bone tissue in your jaw will join with the titanium implant post in a process called “osseointegration.” We need to wait for this process to complete itself before we can load artificial teeth onto your implants. After that, the next step is placing a special piece called an abutment that will be used to hold your restoration; another two weeks of healing are needed after this step.

Placement of Dental Implant Restorations 

Illustration of dental implant post joined with the jawbone

Implant restorations such as crowns, bridges, and dentures are custom designed based on impressions of your teeth that have been sent to a dental laboratory. Once both the restoration and your mouth are ready, we’ll call you to our office for one final appointment. The restoration will be screwed or cemented into place, and your new smile will finally be complete. All that’s left at this point is to take care of your implant with daily brushing and regular checkups with Dr. Merriman.