How Long Do Dental Implants Take?
Like any dental treatment, the process for getting dental implants eden prairie begins with an initial consultation with your dentist for a thorough oral examination. Using X-rays, and possibly 3D imaging scans, your dentist will obtain an overall view of what needs to be done and formulate a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Part of this evaluation will center around the condition of your jawbone. If your jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft to withstand the pressure of chewing, additional bone grafting or augmentation may need to be added in order to strengthen the foundation and protect the dental implant.
After the initial examination, the damaged tooth (or teeth) will be removed if it has not already come out. Unless your jawbone requires bone augmentation or grafts prior to fitting an implant, which will necessitate additional procedures and healing time, the next step in the process involves your dentist cutting into the gums and securing a titanium rod into the gum line. The duration of this surgical procedure generally takes one to two hours per implant and will require anesthesia. Once the implant is finished, many dentists will fit you with a temporary crown while the gums heal. This temporary crown restores appearance and functionality during the healing process.
After the implant has been placed, there is a necessary recovery or healing time needed to allow the implant and bone to fuse together (known as osseointegration). Once healed, there is a strong platform that will withstand the pressure of chewing. The duration of recovery time needed will vary by patients based on their healing capabilities. For patients that heal quickly, recovery may be as little as four to six weeks to allow osseointegration to occur. Other patients could see recovery time closer to 12 weeks if they heal slower.
Once your dentist is satisfied that the bone and implant have fully fused together, the next step is another surgical procedure to fit a component known as the abutment. This socket shaped device acts as the connecting point between the implant and the permanent porcelain crown and helps absorb shock. To place the abutment, the dentist will again uncover the gum to expose the implant before cementing the porcelain crown into place. In some instances, the crown is installed at the same time as the abutment but often patients will come back for a separate fitting.
Clearly, the process for getting dental implants is time consuming as it requires several visits to the dentist or oral surgeon and significant healing time. Taking into consideration the time from the initial consultation, medical exam, surgery, placing the abutment, and eventually the adding the crown, patients can generally expect the entire process to take three to nine months. The time needed will largely depend on the scope or number of implants needed and healing capabilities of the patient. Should bone grafting or augmentation be needed before any implant can be attached, patients can expect to add an additional four to eight weeks of recovery time.
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