How long does it take to heal from dental implants?
Dental implants are a procedure that is standard care for missing teeth. An implant is a surgical fixture that is affixed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with existing bone over the course of several months. This artificial root is allowed to serve as a bridge between existing teeth, fortifying the mouth and allowing for normal tooth and jaw function.
The fusion of a dental implant into the jawbone is called “osseointegration”, and it is the closest thing to a natural tooth that we have in care today. Thanks to innovations in dental science, the success rate of dental implants is almost 98 percent.
Why would you need dental implants?
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, small sets of teeth, or even your entire mouth. The goal of implant use is not only to restore function but improve overall appearance and strength as well.
While other options for tooth replacement exist—–partials, dentures, and the like—dental implants remain the gold standard for tooth replacement. Several factors must be considered when deciding if implants are right for you. These factors include:
- The location of missing teethcos
- Health and density of the jawbone in which the implant is to be placed
- Health of the patient
- Patient preferences
Your dental professional will examine your mouth and determine if implants are the right choice for you.
What does the dental implant procedure involve?
The first step in a dental implant procedure involves assessing the health of the jawbone and soft tissues where the implant is to be placed. If teeth in the mouth still need to be extracted to facilitate the process, this would precede additional work. If a bone graft is necessary to fortify the jawbone, the site will need to be allowed to heal from two to up to six months before continuing the implantation process.
When the bone tissue is strong enough to support an implant, a titanium post is placed into the jawbone using special tools. A cap is then placed over the titanium post, stitched up, and the site is allowed to heal and rest for another two to six months while the post becomes fused to the bone. Follow up appointments will be necessary to make sure that bone is adequately integrated and no infection exists.
The final phase of an implant process involves an “abatement”, or cap that is placed on the post and screwed down to secure. The implant crown is custom-created to look, feel, and perform like a tooth. After this crown is placed, the implant should be fully functional and ready to perform like a normal tooth.
How long does it take to heal?
Due to the fact that there are several stages of the implant process, it can take several months to over a year in order for that area of the mouth to be fully functional once more. During this time, it is essential that you follow your dentist’s instructions for follow-up care, including paying attention to restrictions and healing. The amount of time that is required varies from patient to patient, depending on the condition of the mouth and the density of the bone in which implants are to be placed.
If you have questions about the healing process and a timeline for your implant, talk to your dentist about creating a timeline that will help you to prepare for this important procedure. You are rebuilding the health and strength of your mouth, and you want to make sure it is done correctly to ensure that you preserve the integrity of your mouth. Look forward to improved oral health through dental implant procedures—it will be well worth the wait!