Timeline For Dental Implants
In the same way that teeth need healthy gums and jawbones to support them and keep them in place, jaw bones and gum tissue need healthy teeth in order to stay strong. Diseased gums will cause teeth to loosen, but when teeth are lost, healthy gums and jawbones will become very vulnerable to deterioration, infection, and decay. If teeth are indeed lost, it is imperative to replace them as quickly as possible in order to protect the remaining tissues of your mouth.
Currently, the best option to replace missing teeth is to receive dental implants. Dental implants are metal posts, much like screws, that are fixed directly into the jawbone. Once in place, a false tooth is attached to the top of the post, providing the same look and function as natural teeth.
Unfortunately, although dental implants are the best option, they take quite a bit of time to place. You’d need to dedicate months of your life to the procedure. While we can’t give you an exact timeline, as each individual case is different and unique, we can give you a brief timeline of your dental implant treatment:
- Consultation: Before being approved for dental implants, you’ll need to come in for a scheduled consultation to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Dr. Kate Wilson will examine your jaws, gums, and teeth and will then create a treatment plan for you.
- Bone grafting: This step is optional, as only a small number of patients will need to have bone grafting. This step will only occur if your jaw is too weak to support dental implants.
- Implant placement: To surgically implant the posts into your jawbone, Dr. Wilson will make small holes through the gum tissue and into the jawbone. Once the implants have been placed, your gums will be stitched back into place.
- Osseointegration: After the implants have been put into place, you’ll need around 3-6 months to heal before the next step can be completed. This healing process is known as osseointegration.
- Abutment placement: Once you’re healed, your second surgery will be scheduled to place the abutments (which are metal posts that extend above the gum line). Your artificial teeth will eventually attach to these abutments. At this same appointment, molds will be taken of your mouth so that the artificial teeth can be created, and temporary crowns will be placed onto the abutments.
- Restoration placement: The final step is to cement the permanent restorations into place once they’ve been completed at the dental laboratory.
The process is lengthy and arduous, but absolutely worth it in the end! Dental implants are popular for a reason, and that reason is the look and function of real, natural teeth! You’ll care for your dental implants in the same way you would care for your real teeth; by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.
To schedule a consultation for dental implants, please contact Coastal Periodontics, located in Portsmouth, NH!