When you’re missing a tooth or teeth, eating certain foods can be challenging and smiling worrisome.
If you lost your teeth to an accident, disease, or old age, you might want to consider getting implants.
The greatest benefit of implants is they work just like natural teeth, so you’re able to eat almost anything you want — from ice cream to steak — without worrying how it’s affecting your implants.
You also won’t have to worry about chewing correctly or spitting out food particles capable of causing cavities or gum disease, or periodontitis. Plus, dental implants look more natural than dentures in that they blend perfectly with your facial structure.
What Are Dental Implants?
An implant consists of a surgically installed post, a prosthetic—the replacement tooth, usually a crown—and the abutment, which connects the two.
Once the implant is placed, the post can’t be seen because it’s below the surface. The only visible part is the prosthetic, or replacement tooth. The abutment, like the post, cannot be seen once the implant is placed.
The screw-like post expands and contracts with the body’s movements, allowing it to stay firmly in place and resist shifting over time.
Dental implants are more secure than removable bridges because they’re not removable. You can’t take them out like you can with a bridge, so they’ll last longer and look better as they age. Plus, they’re more affordable than dentures.
Dental Implant Procedure
The procedure for placing dental implants involves an initial consultation with your dentist, followed by a surgical procedure that can take up to three hours to complete. Implant placement occurs in the jawbone where no bone support is already present (called alveolar bone).
The dental implant procedure can take several hours and is performed in an office setting, but it’s usually over before you know it. You’ll need local anesthesia during the surgery, but you’ll be comfortable in an outpatient setting. Your dentist will numb your gums and bone to prepare for implant placement. Once everything is ready, your surgeon will ensure everything is in place before making any final adjustments to the bone or gum tissue around your implant site.
Afterward, you’ll likely have some swelling around the area of your new crown, and your bite profile may change slightly for three months or so after surgery. You should also expect some soreness in this same period, but it should be minor compared with other types of dental procedures that require general anesthesia.
The dental implant procedure is usually done in one day but will take longer if bone grafting is needed during the healing process. In some cases, it may take up to six months for your new natural teeth to grow on the implant site.
How Long Do Dental Implants Take?
The timeline for dental implant placement is very similar to traditional dental restorations. The procedure takes approximately 2 hours and can be done by a general dentist or oral surgeon. Some special considerations for implants may require your dentist to consult with you and other specialists for care, such as bone grafting.
However, the average time it takes for an implant to be placed is around 4 1/2 months. However, some patients may need more time than others and may even need to wait up to 9 months before receiving their new natural-looking teeth!
How Long Do Dental Implants Take to Heal?
Implant healing time will vary depending on your circumstances and how quickly you heal naturally. Although the average healing time is around two months, it can range from four to six months, depending on factors such as your general health, genetic predisposition, diet, and oral hygiene habits.
Implant-supported bridges and dentures are a great alternative to full mouth reconstruction. They can help you get your smile back quickly and comfortably. If you have questions about your surgery or treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any time!