Dental Implant Restorations
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant replaces a missing tooth and is highly similar in structure to a natural tooth, consisting of three parts: a crown, an abutment and a titanium post. The post is inserted into the jaw, and permanently fuses with your bone, a process called osseointegration. The abutment fits inside the post and connects it to the crown, which looks and feels exactly like a natural tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
- Last a lifetime with proper care
- Do not fall or slip out like dentures
- Are identical to your natural teeth texture and color
- Protect your jawbone from deterioration
- Eliminate dietary restrictions
- Restore your bright smile and help boost confidence
How long does it take to get a dental implant?
It depends. The process typically takes 5 to 8 months, which can be broken down into three phases that vary, depending on the patient’s needs and recovery time.
- Phase 1: Consultation and Preparation
We take images, gather dental and medical history and discuss treatment and budget options with you during this phase. If applicable, we determine whether or not we need to extract the tooth. We then evaluate your jaw to determine if there is enough bone mass to support an implant or if you need a bone graft.
- Phase 2: Bone Grafting and/or Implant Surgery
If no bone grafting is needed, healing time for placing the post (osseointegration) takes 3 to 6 months. A bone graft treatment can take 3 to 6 months alone to heal. So, in addition to placing the post, total recovery time could range from 6 to 12 months if you also need a bone graft. The implant surgery itself only takes 1-2 hours.
- Phase 3: Abutment and Crown Placement
Once your jaw is done healing, the abutment is placed, and the crown is cemented snugly on top of the abutment, which usually takes two visits that are about two weeks apart.
Will I need to have bone grafting?
If you lack the necessary jawbone density to support an implant, you will need a bone graft. Bone loss occurs when you have an advanced stage of gum disease or when you wait to replace a missing tooth. On average, patients who have been missing a tooth for a month or more will need bone grafting.
Will I miss work for implant surgery?
You will most likely only miss a single day (or the day of your procedure), as most patients are able to return to work the day after their appointment and experience little discomfort.
Do dental implants hurt?
No. During dental implant surgery, the surgical site is always numbed, and the procedure is performed under anesthesia. We offer a variety of sedation options to ensure your comfort. Later in the day, as the anesthesia wears off, you could experience mild discomfort, but this can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications.
Can a dental implant get stained?
Yes, which is why it is important to take good care of your implant and treat it just like your natural teeth by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding foods like coffee and tea.
Do dental implants affect an MRI?
Since the metals used in most dental implants are not susceptible to being magnetized, it is perfectly safe to enter an MRI machine. However, it’s still best to alert your doctor that you have one if you need an MRI, as metal objects in your body can interfere with imaging.