Dental implants are a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. Getting dental implants involves three main stages – placement surgery, healing time, and restoration.
If you are considering dental implants, it’s helpful to understand what is involved at each phase of treatment. Read on for an overview of what to expect during the 3 stages of getting dental implants.
The first step in the dental implant process is the actual placement of the implant screw into the jawbone. An oral surgeon or implant dentist performs this minor surgery. You will be given a local anesthetic before the start of the procedure so you do not feel any pain or discomfort.
During placement, the dentist will make a small incision in your gums and drill a hole into the jawbone. The titanium implant screw is then inserted and screwed into the bone socket. The gum tissue is closed over top of the implant with stitches that will dissolve over the next few weeks.
The placement procedure typically takes 1-2 hours to complete depending on whether you get a single tooth implant or multiple implants. Most patients report feeling minimal pain after implant surgery. Your dentist will prescribe medication to manage any postoperative soreness or swelling.
Now that the dental implant screw is nested within your jaw, the next phase is allowing the implant to integrate with the surrounding bone through osseointegration. This typically takes 3-6 months.
During the healing period, the implant fuses securely to the jawbone. Osseointegration occurs as new bone cells gradually grow around the implant surface. A strong structural connection formed by the regenerated bone tissue is required to provide the firm foundation for your replacement tooth.
No prosthetic tooth is placed during this time. You may have a temporary denture or flipper tooth to fill the visible gap while the implant integrates. Healing time varies based on your individual health and bone quality. Your dentist will assess your progress during follow-up appointments.
Once your dentist confirms the implant is ready, you are ready for the final restoration phase. This involves placing an abutment and custom crown for your new artificial tooth.
The abutment is a small connector that acts as the base for your crown. Your dentist will take an impression of your abutment and surrounding teeth to design a model for your permanent crown. A dental lab then fabricates the crown from materials that mimic the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.
In a follow-up visit, the dentist cements the custom-made crown onto the abutment. And just like that, your dental implant restoration is complete! You can enjoy your life-like implant tooth that is securely attached to your jawbone, restoring your smile and ability to eat and speak with confidence.
Getting dental implants is a significant investment, but they provide long-lasting tooth replacements that preserve your facial structure and oral health. The three main stages take approximately 6-9 months from initial placement to the final crown.
If you are interested in dental implants in Yaletown, Vancouver, schedule a consultation with Phoenix Dental Implant and Invisalign Centre. They can assess your candidacy, come up with a comprehensive treatment plan, and explain what to expect during the 3 stages of the implant process. Reach out to a dental implants specialist to learn more and get started on restoring your smile.