The dental implant process is a three-phase process that can vary from person to person. Generally, the entire process takes between 5 to 8 months. The first step is the surgery, which usually takes 1 to 2 hours for each implant placed. After the surgery, most dentists will wait 3 months before performing the final tooth replacement restoration.
This waiting period is important to ensure that the dental implant procedure is successful. During this time, the implant must integrate into the bone, so that it has the necessary strength to withstand the final restoration. The surgeon will cut the gums to reach the jaw bone and then drill into the jaw bone to insert the metal post. The complete surgery will take between one and two hours for a dental implant.
If more than one implant is placed, this will increase both the time of the surgery and the costs of the dental implant. The healing period is not about recovering from a surgical procedure, although patients may experience minor swelling and bruising. Rather, it's about allowing time for osseointegration, which is when the bone tissue in which the implant is placed begins to fuse with the titanium implant. This process can take 4 to 6 weeks for some people, while others may take up to 12 weeks.
Permanent replacement teeth are usually placed three to nine months after the implants are placed. Your dentist will make sure that your permanent teeth fit properly, match your other teeth, and that you feel comfortable. In some cases, a prototype of the intended design may be placed in the implants first. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or several missing teeth, depending on the patient's situation.
Regular exams and hygiene visits are important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, particularly around implants. Dental implants provide stability and strength, making them one of the most reliable forms of tooth replacement on the market today. In some cases, immediate implants may not be the best option for you.