One of the questions we often hear about dental implants in Virginia Beach is how long the implant process takes. The exact answer to this question will vary from one patient to the next. However, a good ballpark figure is that treatment normally occurs over a period of 3-6 months. This time may be extended for those in need of bone grafts or other advanced therapy.
Taking Time to Bond
Dental implants are different from other approaches to tooth restoration in that they actually bond to the recipient’s body, or, to be specific, to the jawbone. This occurs through a natural process called osseointegration that emulates the way your natural teeth work. It typically takes around 3-4 months, sometimes a little longer.
Laying a Strong Foundation
Once osseointegration is complete, you’ll return to your dentist to have the abutment placed. This is a small titanium connector that joins the part of the implant beneath the gums to the final restored tooth itself. This step involves minor surgery and will require a few weeks of healing time.
Once healing from the abutment phase is complete, the last step is to place the actual restoration itself. It may take the form of a single tooth, a multitooth bridge, or an implant-supported denture. Your dentist will make an impression of your bite, which, along with 3-D images of your oral profile, will be used by the lab that creates the implants.
The final step is to place the restoration and ensure that it fits comfortably in your mouth. After that, you’ll be able to show off your new smile to the world.
What You Can Do to Help the Time Go by
Your body’s ability to recover from surgical procedures is a key part of the journey towards receiving your dental implants. Anything you can do to keep yourself strong and healthy during the recuperative phase will help you achieve your final goal. This includes eating a nutritious diet, staying physically active, and avoiding products such as tobacco and illicit drugs, which can have devastating consequences for your overall health.
As we mentioned, the success of dental implants depends upon the patient having a strong, healthy jawbone. But this is not always the case, especially for people who are struggling with serious health conditions that can degrade bone health. In some circumstances, the recipient may require bone grafts as an important initial step. Also, those who are suffering from gum disease will first need to undergo treatment to bring the illness under control.
Implants are not the best approach to tooth restoration for everyone. Some patients are better served by crowns, bridgework, or traditional dentures. Only a qualified dental professional can prescribe the right approach for you.
Nowadays there’s no reason for any person to suffer needlessly from the problem of missing teeth. Make an appointment with your dentist in Virginia Beach to discuss your smile restoration options. Sometimes it only takes a little information to make all the difference in the world.
About the Author
Dr. Amrish Patel is an implant-trained dentist who earned his DMD degree from Boston University. He keeps his skills sharp through continuous training in the latest treatment advances. You can reach his office online or by calling (757) 490-3111.