If you have teeth that are missing or require replacement, dental implants offer a restorative solution that is durable and natural-looking. Careful planning and placement can provide results that are as strong as your original teeth and that are proven to last longer than alternative treatments.
Through years of professional practice, Dr. Israel Puterman has placed thousands of dental implants for Bethesda patients. He offers a unique combination of specialization in periodontics and expertise in implant dentistry, including a residency with the most prestigious implant program in the country.
Dr. Puterman’s advanced training in dental implants, bone grafting, and related treatments allows him to support the full range of cases—from basic restorations to the most complex procedures. As a patient, you will benefit from his experience as well as techniques and technology that improve comfort and speed up healing.
The Purpose of Dental Implants
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that connects to a dental crown (the visible surface of the tooth). The treatment differs from older solutions, such as dental bridges, which hold the replacement crown in place by anchoring to neighboring teeth.
Bethesda patients choose dental implants over bridges for a variety of reasons, but durability is one of the most important:
- Bridges tend to place stress on neighboring teeth. When bridges fail, it is typically due to one of these teeth, and those adjacent teeth were perfectly fine before being bridged!
- Because dental implants restore the entire structure of the tooth, they return much of the original strength. Bridges do not recreate the tooth root.
- The body will shrink bone in the area of a missing tooth. Dental implants help prevent this bone loss and preserve the tooth’s natural contours, while bridges do not.
Research bears out the differences. A 2007 review by the American Dental Association—in which Dr. Puterman participated—found that dental implants have a long-term success rate of 95%, compared to 80% for bridges.
Dr. Puterman’s Approach to Dental Implants
Correctly placing dental implants is an extremely complex process. Therefore, if your plan is to “do it once and do it right”, you should choose a doctor with years of experience in the procedure to ensure natural-looking, long-lasting, and comfortable results.
Beyond Dr. Puterman’s expertise in placing dental implants, Bethesda-area patients choose him in part because of the attention he brings to their care. He takes time during the initial consultation to examine them carefully and to learn about their short-term and long-term goals. In the few cases in which patients are not candidates for dental implants, he will guide them to the appropriate solution instead. He views treatment as a team approach with you and seeks to make you knowledgeable regarding the pros and cons of everything he recommends.
This attention to detail extends to procedures. With dental implants, Dr. Puterman’s goal is to make it so that a dentist has a hard time finding the implant in your mouth. Most any dentist can “place a screw” but it takes detailed artistry to make it look completely natural. Accurate placement of dental implants and coordination with the restorative dentist help achieve these results.
To ensure quality in your outcome:
- Dr. Puterman will use highly-researched dental implants for your treatment. Though there are hundreds of implants available, research on certain implants leads to the findings that a few demonstrate greater longevity and faster healing. While many practitioners choose cheaper implants to use, Dr. Puterman insists on only using implants from companies with a long track record of success.
- Our practice employs the X-Guide™ system, an advanced technology that allows Dr. Puterman to place dental implants for Bethesda patients with a much higher degree of precision.
- Dr. Puterman uses techniques that aid recovery. This includes using L-PRF, a natural fibrin material that assists with rapid healing and is used in plastic surgery, neurology, diabetic wound healing, orthopedic surgery and other fields.
What Bethesda Patients Can Expect with Dental Implants
Our Bethesda patients typically fall into one of two categories: they have a tooth that requires extraction and replacement, or they have a tooth that is already missing and needs restoration.
In either case, you will begin with a consultation, examination, and CT scan of the affected area. The scan will allow Dr. Puterman to determine whether you have enough bone to support an implant. If not, Dr. Puterman can conduct specialized procedures to regenerate this bone.
If your tooth requires extraction:
- Dr. Puterman can typically remove the tooth and place an implant during the same visit. He will also place a bone graft to add strength and stability to the site. Completing the procedure in a single appointment improves comfort, lessens treatment time and reduces the cost of care.
- If your replacement tooth will be in a visible location, Dr. Puterman can even provide a temporary crown on the implant.
- Two to three months following the procedure, you will return to your restorative dentist for a permanent crown. This will complete the process.
If your tooth is already missing, but you have enough bone to support a dental implant, you will return to your restorative dentist just 6-8 weeks after the implant procedure. However, if you lack bone in the area:
- Dr. Puterman will conduct a preliminary procedure to develop this bone.
- After allowing 4-5 months for the site to heal, he will place the dental implant.
- Two months later, you can see your dentist to complete the restoration.
Most of our Bethesda patients tell us that getting dental implants is not uncomfortable. The majority only require anti-inflammatory medications and do not need pain medication. Our practice also offers sedation dentistry for patients who are particularly anxious about treatment and Dr. Puterman can even add medication to the surgical site that keeps the area numb for 2-3 days after the procedure. At every step in the process, Dr. Puterman and our team will be available to answer questions, promote your comfort, and provide you with the highest level of care.
Learn more about receiving dental implants from an experienced periodontist. Bethesda patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Puterman online or by phone at (301) 652-0939.