Your dental implant heals in your mouth in generally the same rate as it does in other mouths, as well. As you may have heard or experienced in the past, there is a waiting period, usually, between the time that the implant is placed in the mouth and the time that the tooth is placed on the implant. That’s a distinction that we want to make sure that all of our patients know. There’s usually a delay there. The reason is because the body is healing. So, unlike when you put a screw into an inert piece of material, like wood or something like that, there are active changes that are occurring. The bone actually will start to resorb or pull away from the implant, the fully healed bone where the implant is placed into, and then the body miraculously forms new bone around this implant, and actually will attach microscopically to the implant itself. So, the surface texture of the implant plays a role- the type of implant, the style of implant, every implant company touts that theirs is better for these types of purposes, but that’s the healing time there that it takes. So, usually around three months from a lot of the studies that have been listed, the implant will fully heal or fully osseointegrate into the bone.
Your bone implants are placed in a way in many cases where we use the term immediate stability or initial stability of the implant, we want that to be high. We know that if your bone is very dense, our initial stability will be really high and really good, and that’s great. But, there is this healing period where that initial stability starts to drop. We can test the implant stability in the bone with different devices over periods of time. We’ve noted that the implant, although it can be really stable at first, could start to lose stability over time before the bone actually heals. The active healing process of the body, and even though you don’t feel this, or it may not hurt at all, or the implant may seem fine, the body is doing some healing.
That begs the question also, what is it going to feel like after? What does healing feel like? And the process of placing an implant when done minimally invasively with the technology that we have at Concierge Dental Group- using 3d images and guided procedures so that we don’t have to make large incisions or make big holes in the bone. We can place these implants in a very minimally invasive way to decrease the discomfort postoperatively. Many patients say, “Oh, it’s mild pain for maybe 12 hours”. They’ll wake up the next day and everything’s fine. So, the implant may still be healing over time, and the timing will be about three months before we’re comfortable taking on and off the healing pieces, placing on there the impression posts and other materials really engaging or messing with the implant before we’re ready to go. We want to wait a little while.
That being said, there’s all kinds of temporary pieces and parts that can be placed, ways and techniques that we can limit or eliminate that jostling of the implant during the healing period. All which work real well. I often say this, but one of the reasons that we offer a free consultation is to determine all of these types of things, so that you can know everything about your situation before we do anything, and so it won’t be a nebulous concept. I’m explaining here just some generalities about how implants work. It will be specific to you.