For centuries, dentures were the primary solution for those who lost their natural teeth. Partial dentures and bridges also filled in when only a few teeth were lost. However, these methods share a common shortcoming: They replace only the crown of a tooth, never the root, which sits below the gumline and is anchored into the jawbone.
While attempts at creating dental implants also date back centuries, it was only in the middle of the last century that contemporary dental implants began to take shape. Today, there are a wide range of implant styles. The fundamental contemporary implant is a single, one-to-one replacement for a natural tooth, replacing both the crown and the root.
A traditional dental implant consists of three parts: a titanium post, an abutment, and a crown. The post is inserted into the jawbone. The abutment is then anchored onto the top of the post, and the crown is secured to the abutment.
The advantage of implants is that they act just like natural teeth. Since they’re anchored into the jaw, you can eat and talk like normal. Furthermore, you also take care of them like your other teeth, by brushing and flossing regularly.
The precise steps and resulting timeline for getting an implant depend on the unique circumstances that define your case. However, the general steps are as follows.
First, your provider makes a small incision in your gum tissue to access your jawbone. Then your provider makes a small hole to place the post. If you need a tooth extracted, your provider may be able to remove the tooth on the same day you get the post.
Once the post is in place, your jawbone heals around the post, which could take 4-6 months. Once your jawbone heals, your provider takes impressions of your mouth so the abutment and crown can be made. These items should be available in about two weeks.
Overall, the process can take 6-12 months, depending on the variables required by your unique situation.
If there are certain dental issues, they may need to be dealt with first. For example, if you have gum disease, this may need to be treated beforehand. Or, if you have bone loss in your jaw, you may need a bone graft to restore lost bone tissue.
Any issues that need to be treated prior to receiving a dental implant will add time to the process. For example, if, as mentioned earlier, you need a bone graft, this could add up to four months for recovery.
Do know, though, that no matter what issues you face, our providers will discuss them with you and do all they can to get you ready for your implant in the quickest time possible.
If you want to learn more about getting an implant, we can help. We can review your history, examine your mouth, and give you our best prediction for your outcome and timeline. To learn more, call 305-518-1822 or book an appointment online with Gables Sedation Dentistry today.