Restoring your smile is effortless thanks to the technology behind dental implants. These small titanium posts are surgically placed under the gums and deep into the bone of your jaw. The implant can replace just a single missing tooth at a time or be used to keep bridges and even dentures in place. Implants are ideal for patients of all ages, and they can last for upwards of three or more decades. The process of placing and having the implant heal is quick in comparison to how long it’ll last.
How Long is the Procedure?
The surgery itself involves inserting the implant into the bone of your jaw. For most implant surgeries, you can expect the procedure to take about an hour in the office to complete. If many implants are going to be inserted, the procedure will either take slightly longer or you may be scheduled for multiple surgeries. Either way, the surgery itself is done quickly and comfortably in the office. You can either choose local anesthetic so that you’re awake for the procedure or general sedation so that you won’t be awake for it.
How Long is the Healing Process?
Once the implant’s been placed, it needs to heal fully and bond with the surrounding bone. This process is known as osseointegration and despite being a big medical term, it simply means that the implant fuses naturally with your bone over a short period of time. For some patients, osseointegration can take six months and others may find that it takes their implant nine months to a year to fully heal and become stable. Once stable, restorations can be made for the implant and will be placed at another visit.
Correcting Your Smile
The implant will fuse and bond with the bone over the course of a few months. Once this occurs, we’ll create a restoration for the newly healed implant and place it. For patients only missing one tooth, a crown is made for that particular area. Bridges and special dentures can be made for the implants as well. While implants can easily last for 30 or more years, the restoration itself will need to be repaired or replaced more often. For example, most dentures should be replaced every seven months or when they show signs of wear. The process of having implants placed is easy, quick and entirely beneficial to your smile.