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How Dental Implants Work – Lehigh Valley, PA

Understanding the Process of Rebuilding Your Smile

Replacing missing teeth is a major decision, so it’s only natural to be curious as to how exactly the process works. While there are several steps involved in getting dental implants, the process is fairly straightforward. Dr. S. John Salivonchik wants you to have a complete understanding of how your new smile will function, which he can discuss with you at your consultation. Until then, you can read through this general guideline of how dental implants work in Lehigh Valley. For any further questions, don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

diagram of dental implant in Lehigh Valley on top arch

The first step to restoring your smile is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Salivonchik, your implant dentist in Lehigh Valley. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your smile goals with him while also letting him evaluate your mouth to determine your eligibility for the procedure.

Although dental implants are more than 95% percent successful, a pre-placement evaluate is necessary. Good dental implant candidates generally have:

If Dr. Salivonchik believes you need preparatory work before implant placement – such as bone grafting, periodontal therapy, or a sinus lift – he’ll let you know. Otherwise, you can go ahead and schedule the implant placement surgery.

Dental Implant Surgery

older man holding his glasses and smiling

You’ll be referred to our trusted periodontist for the procedure. First, your mouth will be numbed to ensure you don’t feel any pain. Your gum tissue is opened up, and the implant posts are placed directly into your jawbone at predetermined angles. Your gums are then sutured closed, and you can begin the healing process. 

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment 

dentist showing patient her dental x-rays

On average, you’ll need to wait three to six months for the implant posts to fully fuse with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s the reason why dental implants in Lehigh Valley are able to last so long.

After osseointegration is complete, you’ll undergo another, smaller surgery to receive your abutments. These are small metal pieces that connect your implant to your artificial teeth. Typically, you’ll need to wait about two weeks between having your abutments placed and receiving your restoration.

Placement of Dental Implant Restorations 

older woman admiring her smile in hand mirror

Your restoration, whether that be a crown, bridge, or denture, will be made to our exact specifications in a dental lab. Once it has arrived at our office, Dr. Salivonchik will anchor it onto your abutments. Then, you can walk out of our office with a confident, beautiful smile that, with the right aftercare and maintenance, can last for decades to come!