Dental Implant Procedure Stages and Timeline

Dental implants are not just sticking some fake teeth in your mouth. It is a complete surgical procedure that takes several months to treat your damaged teeth and replace missing teeth and roots with artificial ones. Depending on several factors, a dental implant is considered more safe and comfortable than traditional root fillings and full-mouth dentures. Also, according to the Smiles by Rizzo website, dental implants last a long time, even for the rest of your life with proper care. They note that dental implants have been a reliable replacement for natural teeth for over 40 years. In this article we will discuss what the dental implant procedure is and how long it takes to complete.

Initial Consultation

Before starting the procedure, your dentist or orthodontist will ask for a written consent from you. He will do a complete dental examination of your teeth, take an x-ray of the damaged tooth and surrounding area and then take impressions (size and shape) of your teeth. After an initial assessment, he will talk to you about the recommended treatment plan, the types of dental implants, and may explain the steps of the procedure and the time frame.

Bone Grafting and Teeth Removal

If your jaw bone is healthy, and there is no need for a bone graft, you will be able to begin the dental implant process. However, if you have a bone graft due to any reason, it may take 4-12 months before your jaw bone is healthy enough to bear a transplant.

Implant Placement

The next step is the placement of the implant. A dental implant is a metal screw that is designed in the shape of the tooth. It goes into your jaw bone and acts as the anchor for the whole prosthesis. Before placing the implant, local anesthesia will be given to you, and you will fall asleep during the whole procedure. It may take 1-2 hours to complete.

After you have had the implant placed, the healing process starts. That may extend to 7 months for the upper jaw implant and 4-5 months for the lower jaw implant. Once healing is complete, you may begin the next step.

Placing the Temporary Crown

Your dentist will check whether your implant is completely fused with the jaw bone. If fused, it is time to have a temporary crown or a healing collar. It is a round piece of metal that will be placed on the head of an already fused implant. The healing cap is placed to promote healing and guide the gum tissue in a proper way to heal. It will stay on for a week or so.

Placing the Abutment

Now for the next step of the dental implant – placing the abutment. It is a part of a screw that will support the permanent crown. Once this step is completed, your dentist will take another impression to design a permanent crown. This step may take another 6-7 weeks.

Placing the Permanent Crown

Next comes the permanent crown. A crown is a tooth-looking metal part that will be either cemented or screwed into an already placed abutment. The crowns are further divided into two types – the removable and fixed crowns. As their names suggest, the former type can be removed for daily cleaning while the latter one is fixed in its place. The fixed crown is much stronger and stable than its counterpart.

In the end, your dentist will discuss the things you have to do during recovery, such as the foods and exercises that will promote healing.

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