Dental implants are the most realistic looking tooth replacement option. The way they are manufactured and inserted into the jawbone perfectly replicates the look and function of a natural tooth. This high level of realism comes at a price, however, both in terms of time and money.
If you are considering dental implants, here is what you need to know concerning the duration of the entire procedure. Overall, it takes between three and nine months. This variation depends on how many teeth you need to replace and the healing period which differs from one person to another.
Why Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take So Long?
When they are properly crafted and inserted into your mouth, dental implants will last a lifetime. This needs a high level of precision and care. Some things simply cannot be rushed.
Dental implants Parker surgeons affirm that the process itself is complex. The oral surgeon needs to assess the condition of your jaw bone, recommend bone grafting if necessary, note the exact specifications of the dental implant (which is custom made) and send the order to a specialized technical facility. The best technicians are usually busy, so you may also have to wait until your implants are ready.
Here is the timeline of the procedure from the first appointment to the last one:
- First Consultation
During the first consultation, the dentist will assess your need for dental implants. After examining your teeth, the dentist will take an X-ray or 3D scan of your jawbone and teeth. This step is necessary in order to determine bone density.
If you suffer from bone loss, the dentist will recommend getting a grafting before moving on to the next step with the implants.
- Pre-Implant Examination
During this examination, the dentist will note all the precise specifications of your teeth: size, color, shape. These data are necessary to create dental implants that look just like the other teeth. During this examination, you can ask any questions about the procedure.
At the same time, the dental surgeon will look at the bone grafting if you had one. If everything looks good, you should be able to schedule the appointment for the first actual procedure related to dental implants.
- Dental Implant Placement
This procedure is a surgery. The dental implants Parker surgeon will use titanium screws that are specially formulated to be accepted by your body (biocompatible material). These screws will go inside the jawbone and replace the root of the tooth.
Depending on your tolerance to pain, the dentist will give you either local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The surgery usually lasts one hour per implant.
- Waiting for Bone Fusion to Complete
In order to function as a natural tooth, the screw of the implant must become firmly embedded in your jaw. This is a process called osseointegration or bone fusion, and lasts between three and six months.
During this time, bone tissue will continue to grow around the screw, until it becomes an integral part of your jawbone. During this period, you need to be careful about what you eat and drink. Your dentist will recommend you to choose only soft foods during the first few weeks.
- Placing the Abutment
When bone fusion is completed, the dentist can place the abutment – the part that connects the titanium screw to the dental crown, which is the visible part of the tooth.
- Attaching the Crown
The last step in the procedure is attaching the crown or cap. It is the part that is custom made to look like your natural teeth. This completes the dental implant procedure. It lasted over half a year, but the end result is worthwhile: no one will be able to tell that you don’t have all your natural teeth.