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What Can You Expect From Dental Implant Surgery?

You are told by your prosthodontist that you need immediate dental implant surgery. You know it is going to be painful at some point, but other than that, the details are unknown and that only adds to your worries. It is the same case for many patients who do not even know the difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist, a dentist specializing in dental implant surgery.

If you are about to undergo dental implant surgery in Washington DC, and you feel anxious about it, the following are some of the things you should know about the procedure:

1. Washington DC dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery.

The patient is usually allowed to go home right after the procedure, and they can even resume normal activities like going to work, within three days. Prescription painkillers may be given, as well as, other drugs to temporarily relieve blood clotting problems.

2. Several stages are often required to complete the treatment plan.

A dental implant surgery is usually a step-by-step procedure performed in different stages in a span of several months. The first stage involves tooth extraction, followed by bone grafting after a week or two. After healing, the dental implant metal post is placed in the jawbone. This usually takes months to heal. Once fully healed, the extension of the previously implanted post, called an abutment, is connected. This is where the artificial tooth is placeed, normally within the same day.

What makes the entire treatment long is the healing process. Specifically, recovery lasts more than nine months for people with blood clotting problems, gum disease, and a thin jawbone.

3. Bone grafting is required for patients with a thin jawbone.

The bone to be implanted in should be thick enough to hold the implant, and support strong chewing motion. This is the most complicated part of the treatment, because it requires bone from another part of the body to be grafted to the jaw. The healing process for both parts may take months.

Nevertheless, minor bone grafting may only be required, and it can be performed right before the implant surgery.

4. Cutting and drilling are involved in the surgery.

It may seem gory, but the surgery itself is actually a safe process. The gum only needs to be cut to access the bone, into which the implant is drilled in. The implant does not protrude, so a tooth gap still appears. If you are embarrassed by the appearance, your dentist can give you a temporary denture. Just don't forget to remove it before you go to bed.

5. The implant becomes part of your bone within six months.

Theoretically, the implant no longer becomes a foreign matter after such time because the bone heals and unites with it. This process, called osseointegration, may take nine months for patients with naturally thinner jawbones.

6. You can choose between removable and fixed implant prosthesis.

The removable type is cheaper but demands more attention when cleaning. This is usually the suggestion for multiple teeth replacement. The fixed type is more expensive but can be easier to manage like a real tooth.

What Are The Types Of Gum Disease?

Your gums are just as important to your oral health as your teeth. What is more, they are even more susceptible to infection than your pearly whites. To fight and prevent periodontal disease, or infections that affect the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth, you need to know the signs and symptoms that herald its appearance.

These are the types of gum disease, and how they can be treated.


Gingivitis is a mild condition, and an extremely common one to too. As many as 75% Americans are affected by this gum disease, and many of them do not even realize they have it. This is because there is very little discomfort or obvious outer signs in this kind of infection. Here, the gums appear swollen, and bleed easily as they become infected by the bacteria that inhabit the human mouth. However, it is important to head it off, as the condition can easily worsen, and lead to more severe types of infection.

Inadequate oral health care is the primary cause of gingivitis. The condition can thus quickly be reversed by flossing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day, and paying regular visits to dental offices in Burke, VA. A person's susceptibility to gingivitis has a lot to do with genetics, but those who smoke, suffer from diabetes, or are constantly under high levels of stress, are more prone to develop the condition.


Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. Occurring when gingivitis goes untreated, this is a serious condition when the plaque produced by oral bacteria extends below the gum line. When this happens, the presence of toxins triggers an intense immune response where the body has difficulty distinguishing between bacteria, and its own cells. Periodontitis can also be a symptom of other systemic diseases, such as diabetes, or contribute to the severity of other conditions, like heart disease, respiratory conditions and HIV.

As your gums come under attack from both bacterial toxins, and your own immune system, spaces or pockets will form between your teeth and your gums. More food can get trapped in these pockets, and make the situation worse. As these spaces become deeper over time, teeth may become loose, and it may be necessary to remove them as the tissues surrounding them can no longer provide adequate support.

Periodontitis comes in several different stages:

Aggressive periodontitis is fairly common, and can be seen as the next step of infection after gingivitis. Occurring in patients who are otherwise healthy, this condition is characterized by loosening teeth and bone damage.

Chronic periodontitis occurs over a long period of time, and may even start in childhood. The symptoms build up over time, steadily increasing in severity if it goes untreated.

Necrotizing periodontitis is most commonly associated with other immune system conditions, such as HIV and malnutrition. It is characterized by the rotting of gum tissues surrounding the teeth.

What Is Laser-assisted New Attachment Procedure?

Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP for short, is a new treatment modality for periodontitis, the inflammation of gum tissue. In the field of dentistry, it is considered a technological breakthrough since it employs the use of a laser in specifically targeting diseased gums to treat the gum disease.

To address the overwhelming percentage of Americans who do not get any form of treatment for severe periodontitis, dentists Robert H. Gregg II and Delwin K. McCarthy began conceptualizing the use of a laser for their treatments in the early 1990s. The researchers found out that with the use of lasers that can only target diseased gum tissue, teeth can be protected and given a chance to grow once again.

The Laser

After years of research and experimentation, and with the help of Millennium Dental Technologies, a laser that will match the wavelength of infected gums, and made from a combination of neodymium, yttrium, aluminum, and garnet was developed. This laser was officially called Nd: YAG laser.

How Is LANAP Done?

In this surgical procedure, a dentist inserts a tiny filament in the space between the infected gums and teeth. The filament then pulses to a specific laser wavelength, and thus selectively scrapes off rotten gum tissue. The entire procedure takes two visits of about two hours per side of the affected gums or teeth. A certified dentist can work on both sides of the affected teeth in one day, or conduct a second and final round a day later.


Generally, follow-ups and oral prophylaxis occur at one-week and thirty-day intervals. It is also important that patients do not undergo any other dental work within the year of treatment. Otherwise, if much-needed dental procedures like braces or dental fillings are required, these restorative dental procedures are performed prior to doing LANAP.

How To Find LANAP-Certified Dentists Near Dupont Circle DC?

Dentists need to train under the LANAP Training Continuum before they are certified, and allowed to use LANAP in their treatments. This training ensures that patients are given optimal and safe treatment. The use of the Nd: YAG laser also requires stringent hands-on training for a year. Dentists only receive a standard proficiency certificate when they first sign up for the training. An Expanded Proficiency Certificate will only be given after another series of more comprehensive training with laser use and protocols for six months.

Ask your dentist if he or she is LANAP-certified or if he or she can recommend anyone who can perform the procedure for you. You can also check The Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry website to locate for LANAP-certified dentists in your area.

Is LANAP Right For You?

Just like any laser procedure, like LASIK or laser hair removal, LANAP can be an expensive surgical procedure to undergo. LANAP-certified dentists or periodontists are highly specialized practitioners, and they may not be available in every city. Your current dentist may be open to this new form of treatment but he or she simply can not perform it, since he or she is not trained, or does not have the right equipment. Talk to your own dentist prior to making a final decision. There are always different treatment options for different dental issues, especially now that the field of dental care has evolved.