Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Some offices have an onsite lab to create the crown, but others will have to send it to an outside lab. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.
Dr. Sarah Courtney, Periodontics and Dental Implants
We are extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Sarah Courtney has joined our Pan Dental Care practice specializing in Periodontics and Dental Implants. Dr. Courtney grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts and received a B.A. from Boston College in 2006. In addition to her academic studies, Dr. Courtney was the Captain of the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey Team at B.C. and won their first Bean Pot in 2006. Dr. Courtney graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Dental Medicine in 2012 and received a DMD as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Medical Science from the School of Medicine. Following Boston University, Dr. Courtney completed a three-year post-doctoral residency program specializing in Periodontics and Dental Implantology at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
Sarah has a strong family background in dentistry. Her father, Dr. Michael Courtney, was a periodontist in Arlington, MA, who is now retired, and her mother, Dorothy, is a registered dental hygienist. Her sister, Elizabeth, is a dentist who has a general practice with her husband in Maine. Sarah’s brother Michael, who also received his DMD at B.U., is currently completing a dual degree OMFS/M.D. program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.