Why Do Dental Implants Take So Long?

Feb 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Blog, Dental Implants

dental implants timelineDental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth, and, in the hands of a skilled provider like Dr. Alex Denes, they can support one or many prosthetic teeth. Some patients are turned off by the dental implants timeline—but learning why the timeline is necessary can help you understand how implants function.

With traditional dentures or bridges, new teeth can be ready to use in a matter of weeks. This may seem a greater convenience, but implants’ longer process means a more permanent and life-like solution. The greater time commitment is proportionate to the long-term satisfaction you’ll have with your new teeth!

Are you considering dental implants? Contact Fresno Dental Studio to learn more about Fresno dental implants and your candidacy for the treatment. Call our office at 559-297-1294 or email us through our website to schedule a consultation.

The Dental Implants Timeline

All said, dental implants are usually completed in under six months. Patients in excellent health with no complications may be ready to use their implant(s) in only 3 months, or it may take longer. Health conditions, nutritional factors, and bone health can affect how long it takes before an implant can support a denture or crown.

As a multi-step process, getting implants has a specific sequence of stages:

Surgery and Healing (Two Weeks)

Implant surgery is pretty quick, and can be completed in just a few hours. After the surgery you will be left with sutures in your gum tissue, and will need to be very gentle with your mouth over the next week or so, so the tissues can heal properly. It usually takes about two weeks before the inside of your mouth feels normal again.

Osseointegration (3-6 months)

After the gum tissues have healed from surgery, your body will be hard at work integrating the titanium implants with your existing bone tissue. You may have heard that the implant will “fuse” with the jawbone, but that’s not exactly what happens. Your body is constantly in the process of breaking down and building up healthy bone tissue. New bone growth will form in and around the ridges of your implant(s), to stabilize and strengthen their position. Your implants need to be stable enough to hold dentures, in many cases, and they may fail if not firmly established in the bone.

Different people may experience different rates of bone growth, depending on health factors and diet. This is why we encourage all our patients to be very good to their bodies during the osseointegration period. Get extra sleep, eat a rich diet with a wide variety of nutritious foods. Don’t overexert yourself or let yourself fall victim to too much stress. You want your body to be in optimal bone-growing mode, to ensure the implants become a stable and permanent fixture in your jaw.

Possible Additional Surgeries (up to 2 months)

In the cases of patients who have already suffered tooth loss for many years, additional surgeries may be needed to make sure implants will have the support they need to integrate with the jaw bones. A bone grafting or sinus augmentation may be necessary to help you bulk up your bone mass and ensure successful implants. Sometimes bone grafting can be done at the time of implant surgery, but it often requires a separate surgery and healing period before implants can be placed.

Abutment Placement (About 2 Weeks)

Once your doctor has determined that the implants have integrated sufficiently with the jaw bone, the gums can be prepared for the prosthetic attachment. At the site of each implant, the gum tissue will be cut open so an abutment can be placed on top. It usually takes about two weeks or less for the gums to heal around the abutments. You will likely have some sutures, as you did with the initial implant placement, and will need to treat your gums with care so they can heal properly.

Prosthetic Fabrication (a Few Weeks)

Once the gum tissue has healed around the abutment(s), we will take a dental impression, which allows a customized prosthetic to be made. Whether you are getting implant dentures, a single crown, an implant bridge, or partial dentures—it usually takes about two weeks for the dental laboratory to fabricate the restoration.

Worth the Time

Implants require a longer process, but they are a more permanent and stable way to replace your lost teeth. The osseointegration period, especially, ensures your implants become a permanent fixture in your jawbone, and form a foundation that will support your teeth for life. For most patients, the benefits outweigh any downside caused by the dental implants timeline. Instead, they view it as an important investment in their future oral health and dentition.

Want to learn more about getting dental implants? Contact Fresno Dental Studio today! We’ll help you understand the timeline, process, and cost of dental implants, so you can make an informed decision. Call our office at 559-297-1294 or email us through our website to schedule a consultation.

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