If you have a missing tooth, a dental implant is a perfect replacement. An implant will restore your missing tooth’s crown as well as the root which is unlike any other tooth restoration. This ensures that the implant is securely stabilized in the jawbone and will never move.
This also provides stimulation to the jawbone when you chew, preventing bone loss. The benefits of dental implants are widely discussed, but you might not know how long the process takes or what it entails. Read on in this blog from Flo Dentistry to learn all about the dental implant timeline.
The first step in the implant process is to book a consultation with Dr. Amin. During your consultation, he will assess your tooth loss and oral health by performing an oral exam and taking x-rays. Digital scans will reveal your jaw health and underlying bone support.
To be considered a good candidate for dental implants, you need to have sufficient and healthy jawbone structure. Otherwise, you will be advised to get a bone grafting procedure to replace the missing jawbone and create adequate support for the implants.
If bone grafting is necessary, you will need 3 to 6 months to heal before you can move forward with implant placement. At your consultation, Dr. Amin will determine if implants are right for you and how many you will need. Impressions will be taken of your teeth to create your restoration.
Once you have been approved for dental implants, your first appointment will involve implanting the titanium post into your jawbone. First, we will administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth so you don’t feel any pain.
If you prefer to be sedated, this procedure can be done under IV sedation or general anesthesia. If you are replacing a single tooth, we will make one incision into your gums and drill a hole into the jawbone so that the titanium post can be implanted into the jawbone.
Then, your gums will be repositioned and sutured shut. This procedure takes about 60 to 90 minutes per implant. If you are receiving full-arch implants, we will need to place a series of implants into the jaw. It will take anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks to heal from this oral surgery.
Even though the healing time from placement of your implant is relatively short, it will take up to 3 to 6 months until we can move forward with the next step of the implant procedure because this is how long it takes for osseointegration to occur.
This is the process of the jawbone growing around the implant until they fuse. This is an important part of the process and if osseointegration does not properly occur, your implant can fail. To prevent implant failure, avoid smoking and practice good oral hygiene.
Second Oral Surgery: Abutment Placement
Once osseointegration has been completed, you will return for another appointment so we can perform the second oral surgery. You will once again be placed under anesthetic and sedation if you desire and your gums will be reopened so that we can attach an abutment to your implant.
The abutment is what connects your implant to your tooth restoration. You will need another few days to 2 weeks to heal from this second oral surgery. At this point, you will receive a temporary crown or denture while you wait for the fabrication of your official restoration.
The impressions we took of your teeth will be sent to an outside dental lab that is in charge of fabricating your restoration. For a single-tooth implant, a dental crown will be created. For full-arch implants, a denture or bridge will be fabricated from your impressions.
It takes about 6 weeks after the placement of your abutment to attach your restoration. Once your restoration is attached to your dental implant or implants, the process is complete.
The recovery time from your actual oral surgeries is quite short. Most people heal within 5 to 7 days but it can take up to 2 weeks after each oral surgery to fully heal depending on many factors, such as your jawbone density, the number of implants you are receiving, your overall health, and age.
It will still take up to 3 to 6 months for the titanium post to become integrated with the jawbone. During your implant recovery, you will need to eat a soft food diet, avoid smoking, and practice good oral hygiene.
In the first 24 hours, you will need to avoid a lot of things like sucking through a straw, drinking alcohol or hot liquids, engaging in strenuous exercise, and vigorously rinsing your mouth. You should carefully follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions for a smooth recovery and to avoid developing peri-implantitis.
Interested In Dental Implants? Schedule a Consultation!
Dental implants are the most durable, stable, and longest-lasting tooth restoration that can also prevent bone loss. Other restorations accelerate bone loss, have short lifespans, are much more high maintenance, and move when you speak or chew. Contact us at Flo Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Omar Amin to find out if dental implants are right for you.