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Dental Implant Timeline: What to Expect

Dental Implant Timeline: What to Expect

Dental implants surpass every other tooth replacement because they’re the only restoration that can prevent bone loss, last for a lifetime, and stabilize the tooth in the jaw so that it never moves. 

However, you might be intimidated by the surgical dental implant process or wonder how long it will take. Read on in this blog from Driftwood Dental Studio to learn about each stage of the process.

Initial Consultation

At your implant consultation, the dentist will perform an oral exam and take x-rays to look for two things – the presence of oral health problems and the existence of healthy and sufficient bone density. 

If problems like active tooth decay, gum disease, orthodontic problems,  or tooth infections are present, these will need to be treated before you can receive dental implants. The other major issue is whether or not you have sufficient jawbone structure to support the implants. 

If you have suffered from bone loss due to tooth loss, health conditions, teeth grinding, or a misaligned bite, then you may need to receive bone grafts to create enough support for the implants. 

This isn’t a problem, as most patients require some form of bone grafting before becoming eligible for implants. However, if bone loss is severe, you may only qualify for a specific type of implant or you may be better suited for dentures.

Dental Implants at Driftwood Dental Studio

Implant Placement

When it comes to the first oral surgery, where we implant the titanium post into the jawbone, we will first administer local anesthesia to completely numb the mouth. You will not feel any pain during the procedure. 

If you experience dental anxiety, we can offer you additional sedation such as nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, which will relax you and make you feel more comfortable. After prepping your mouth and administering any sedatives, an incision will be made into the gums. 

The titanium post which is shaped like a screw is embedded into the jawbone and then we will reposition the gums and suture them shut.

Healing and Recovery Period

While you will heal from the oral surgery rather fast – anywhere from a couple of days to 2 weeks depending on the number of implants, location, whether you have bone grafts, and your overall health, it will take 3 to 6 months for osseointegration to complete. 

Osseointegration is the process of the jawbone growing around the implant until they fuse, forming an artificial tooth root.

Abutment Placement

Osseointegration can take a variable amount of time depending on the individual. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, you will be ready for the second oral surgery. We will reopen your gums with another incision to attach the abutment to your implant. 

This acts as the connection point between your implant and crown. You will need to recover from this second oral surgery, which you can expect to be similar to your recovery from the first oral surgery. Healing time can range from a few days to 2 weeks.

Final Implant Restoration Placement

After the abutment placement, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab that will fabricate a custom lab-made tooth-colored crown to attach to the abutment. It typically takes about 6 weeks for fabrication to be complete. 

Then, you will return to the dental office to check how the crown looks and fits before attaching and polishing it. Now you have a fully completed restoration! While dental implants typically last for a lifetime, the dental crown will need to be replaced about every 10 to 15 years.

Find Out If Dental Implants Are Right for You

Dental implants are durable, sturdy, long-lasting replacements for missing teeth. Replace a single tooth or an entire arch of teeth with dental implants and never have to worry about shifting teeth or facial sagging. 

Contact us at Driftwood Dental Studio to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rebecca Butler and find out if you’re a good candidate.

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