How Long Do Dental Implants Actually Take?

Dentist Blog

It's easy to think of dental implants as being similar to other kinds of surgical implants. Once a breast implant has been inserted, all you need to do is wait for the tissue surrounding the affected area to heal, and the end result has been achieved. Dental implants are somewhat different in that many dentists prefer to do the work in stages, allowing healing and settling time in between. This ensures that the dental implant lasts for as long as possible, which could be a lifetime.

Having said that, it can sometimes be possible to speed up the process. So from start to finish, how long will it take for you to get a dental implant?

A Metal Tube

The dental implant itself is just one of three parts of the finished product, and is in fact a small metallic tube. A tiny incision is made in your gum and the tube is inserted into place. It's usually made of titanium, chosen due to its durability and low-irritant qualities.

The Waiting Game

Next you need to play the waiting game. The metal tube needs to be left to settle for anywhere between six and twelve weeks. The exact time depends on your age, immune system, and the original quality of your jaw. This waiting time is necessary for many patients, as the tissues in your jaw actually fuse to the implant, securing it in place.

The Final Stage

After the implant has settled, a small abutment is attached. This is what the prosthetic tooth will be attached to. Your dentist will determine whether the abutment needs to be left to settle as well, but the prosthetic tooth can often be fitted immediately. During the waiting period, the prosthetic tooth will have been fabricated in a laboratory, designed to match the colour of your existing teeth. It is then permanently attached to the abutment, and with proper care it will last a lifetime.

In a Hurry?

Some dentists now offer same-day dental implants. There's an initial examination in which an impression of the missing tooth is taken, allowing the prosthetic to be made prior to the surgery. The implant, abutment and crown are then all inserted on the same day. These types of implants avoid the usual osseointegration step of the process (which is the waiting period when your jaw tissue fuse to the implant).

Not everyone is a candidate for same-day implants, since your jaw needs to be very healthy (so that the implant can still fuse with your jaw tissue, even with the prosthetic tooth attached).

If your dentist deems you to be a candidate, you could be walking out of the dental surgery with a completed implant later that day. For most other people, six to twelve weeks is not too long to wait for a healthy smile.


9 July 2015

Dental Care and Seniors: Helping to Maintain Your Smile

As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.