Are you planning on going for a dental implant surgery any time soon? And, are you wondering how long does a dental implant take? Well, you are not alone. This surgery is a welcome alternative to any bridgework or dentures. Plus, it is most appropriate when you have weak or damaged roots, unable to support other corrective procedures. Only, most patients are unaware of the dental implants timeline. That’s why, in this quick guide, we want to demystify any myths or misconceptions surrounding the denta implants process and duration. But, first things first, what does a denta implants process entail?
The Process of Getting a Dental Implant
Now, there are different types of denta implants process to suit the condition of the jaw bone. Hence, you may undergo fewer or more procedures, depending on your gum health. Still, the most common types are the zygomatic, subperiosteal, and endosteal dental implants. How long does a dental implant take under each of these options? Let’s explore below:
1. Getting Endosteal Dental Implants
If you have a healthy jawbone, the dentist will most likely use endosteal implants for your treatment. These implants look like screws, fusing to the jawbone in preparation for placing the false teeth. Hence, the dentist will start by numbing and cutting the gum to expose the jaw bone. Next, he fuses the endosteal implant and closes the gum over the post.
This first step may result in bleeding, swelling, discomfort, or bruising at the gum areas. You shall be discharged and wait for at least 2 to 6 months for your jawbone to grow into the endosteal implant (osseointegration). During this recovery period, you ought to practice oral hygiene and follow the aftercare instructions. Plus, you may have to eat soft foods only so as not to agitate the surgery site.
After the recovery period, the dentist will schedule your appointment for the abutment placement. That is, the surgeon reopens the gum to attach the abutment to the implant. It is here that the dental implant attaches to the artificial teeth. Note that you can agree with your surgeon to have the abutment fixed during the first procedure. That way, you will save on the extra charges for a second procedure.
Two weeks after you have the abutment, the dentist will take impressions for making the crown. All in all, it may take several months and up to two surgical procedures to get your endosteal dental implants.
2. Fixing Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Unlike endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants comprise a metal frame that goes under the gum but on top of the jawbone. Here, the patient goes for a CT scan to get the impression needed to prepare the metal frame. Then, the surgeon will cut to open the gums and fix the metal frame over the jawbone. Next, the dentist will place the dental bridges or crowns on to the metal frame. The patient may experience mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort for about a week as the gum heals. Still, it will be another six-month waiting period for the gum to hold the metal frame in place.
Recovering from a subperiosteal dental implant surgery requires good oral hygiene and following the aftercare instructions. For, you want to avoid getting any infection that can jeopardize the entire procedure.
3. Having Zygomatic Dental Implants
Lastly, if your jaw bone is in bad shape (massive bone loss), the surgeon may suggest going for the zygomatic dental implants. Here, the dentist fixes the implant onto the cheekbone (zygomatic bone) and not the jaw bone. The cheekbone is quite dense, offering the needed foundation and support for the implants. In turn, only a handful of surgeons have the skillset and experience to perform this procedure.
The procedure starts with embedding the titanium implant below the gum to fuse it with the cheekbone (osseointegration). Second, the abutment connects the arch to the implant using prosthesis. Finally, the natural-looking zirconia arches are placed on the implants to last for a lifetime. The entire process takes up to 6 months to complete and heal.
The Bottom Line
So, how long does it take to get dental implants? It depends on several factors. First, how many dental implants will you need? Naturally, you’ll have more implants if you need surgery on the entire jaw or mouth.
Second, if you need bone grafting to correct your jaw bone, it will add another 4 to 9 months to the dental implants timeline. Next, do you have any underlying medical condition that can affect your ability to heal from the surgery? For example, diabetes interferes with circulation, hence, prolonging the healing period. Then, you may have to rest for extended periods as you move from one step to the next in having the dental implant.
Finally, your lifestyle habits dictate your healing process, hence the duration of getting the dental implant. That is, do you follow the doctor’s instructions about the treatment plan? Do you smoke? Healthy lifestyle habits support the projected dental implants timeline.