A dental implant might be recommended if you have a missing tooth. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that replaces lost teeth roots, which helps preserve bone tissues in your jaw. The implant fuses with surrounding bone tissue through osseointegration, becoming one with your jawbone. Implants can be fitted with a crown to replace…
How Long is the Dental Implants Process?
When someone has missing teeth, one of the recommendations for replacement is dental implants. Implants are secured into the jawbone, which means they are stable, prevent bone loss, and function like normal teeth. Because of their integration into the bone, the implant procedure takes longer than other replacement options. The total time varies based on different factors, but the average time for implementation ranges from 10 months to two years.
The implant procedure
At the initial visit, the dentist conducts an exam to determine if the patient is a candidate for dental implants. If so, the process requires a series of visits to complete.
Not everyone requires this step. If the implant is going to replace a decayed or damaged tooth, the tooth needs to be extracted first. This increases the time of the procedure by about two weeks, as the area needs to heal before the next step.
A bone graft is also not part of the process for most patients. This only occurs if the patient's jawbone does not have enough density to support dental implants. If a patient needs a graft, this often lengthens the procedure time by up to 12 months.
The first step of the actual procedure is the placement of the implant, which is a titanium rod. A cut is made into the gums to expose the jawbone. The rod is then inserted into the bone, and this acts as the foundation of the artificial tooth. Depending on the number of implants that need to be placed, this visit may take up to two hours.
Before the next step, the rods and tissues around them need to assimilate into the bone. This process can take up to six months in the lower jaw and up to seven months in the upper jaw.
Once the surgical areas have healed and osseointegration has occurred, it is time to place the abutment. This piece will eventually secure the permanent tooth in place. Recovery time for this step is about two weeks.
Temporary tooth installment
After the abutment is placed, the dentist takes an impression of the mouth and teeth. This is used to fabricate the crowns, which make up the artificial teeth. It takes about six weeks for the permanent crowns to be made, so temporary ones are used in the meantime. These are placed after the abutment sites heal.
Permanent crown attachment
The final step of the dental implants procedure is the placement of the permanent crowns. These are either screwed or cemented into the posts to secure a strong hold. The patient will then have a follow-up visit to ensure everything works correctly.
Dental implants are a popular option for teeth replacement because they look and act like real teeth. Although the procedure spans months, the implants are easy to care for and can last a lifetime.
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