Dental implants are by far the most effective option to replace a missing tooth. As long as you're a suitable candidate for the procedure, it's worth choosing dental implants over alternatives such as dentures or dental bridges. However, it's important to understand that you're committing to a very long process that can take as long as 6-8 months to complete.
There are several factors which may impact the precise length of time it will take to complete your procedure. For example, the process will take considerably longer if you require a bone graft. Whether you are getting traditional implants or mini implants will also have an impact on your treatment time.
Below is an overview of the dental implant process. Dr. Binon will discuss this with you in greater detail during your initial consultation.
Will You Need a Bone Graft?
In order to successfully undergo the procedure, you must have sufficient jawbone density to accommodate the dental implant. In some instances, you may lack the necessary bone structure. This may occur for several reasons:
- If you have advanced stages of gum disease, it may destroy a large portion of the bone surrounding your teeth
- If you wait a long time to replace a missing tooth, it can result in an erosion of the bone structure underneath your missing tooth
In these situations, you may need a bone graft to restore the strength and density of the bone in your jaw prior to undergoing the dental implant procedure. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that uses your own bone or a processed bone material to rebuild your jawbone structure. After the bone graft is performed at the site where your implants will be placed, it will take time to integrate with your natural jawbone material. The length of time for this healing varies based on how much bone structure was lost and how quickly your body heals, but in general it takes 3-4 months.
Other Preparatory Treatments
A bone graft isn't the only preparatory treatment that may need to be performed prior to getting dental implants. If you have periodontal disease, Dr. Binon will need to treat the condition and restore your gum health before you can move forward with your procedure. This can delay the start of your implant procedure for several months depending on the severity of your gum disease.
Dental Implant Placement and Osseointegration
Once Dr. Binon has determined that your bones and gum tissue are healthy, he'll schedule the first phase of your dental implant procedure. During this stage, the dental implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone. It generally takes about an hour to place a single implant. If you're getting multiple implants, the time for your surgery may take longer.
Once your dental implant has been placed, it will take about 4-6 months to heal. During this time, the bone fuses around your new implant. This process is called osseointegration, and it's what allows your dental implant to function just like a regular tooth root. One of the primary reasons dental implants are so much more effective than other alternatives is because they are the only option that replaces your root as well as your tooth.
Placing your Abutment and Prosthetic Tooth
Once osseointegration is complete, you're ready to enter the final stages of the dental implant process. Dr. Binon will attach a titanium rod called an abutment onto your dental implant. The abutment will connect your implant to your new prosthetic tooth.
It will take a few weeks for your gums to heal after the abutment is attached. During this time, your new prosthetic tooth will be crafted by the dental lab. Dr. Binon will take impressions of your mouth which will be used by the lab to create a dental crown. Once the crown has been completed, Dr. Binon will secure it to the abutment. At this point, you'll have a brand new, fully functional replacement tooth.
While this process takes a long time, it's well worth the wait. Your new tooth will look and function just like your natural teeth, allowing you to maintain optimal levels of oral health moving forward.
Contact our Roseville Implant Dentist
If you need to replace a missing tooth, please contact Dr. Paul Binon using the form on this page or call 916-786-6676 today to schedule your initial consultation. We serve patients in Roseville, Sacramento and throughout the surrounding areas of California.