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What is a Dental Implant?

Illustration showing a dental implant.In the past, the only options you had for replacing a missing tooth was with a fixed bridge or partial denture. Technology has advanced to where dental implants have become the go-to option for replacing one or more missing teeth. Implants are often made of titanium, so they’re strong, resilient and can last for years when you are able to take care of them. They can be used for a single crown, bridge or even to keep a denture in place.

Why are Dental Implants necessary?

Implants are ideal for replacing one or more missing teeth. The implants are inserted deep into the bone and given several months for osseointegration, a process that occurs when your existing bone fuses with the post of the implant. Implants are often utilized to replace one missing tooth at a time, but they can be helpful in keeping a denture in place as well as secure a fixed bridge. Dr. Bhandaru will have a consultation with you before the procedure to see if you could benefit from an implant.

What makes you a candidate for Dental Implants?

In order for implants to be successful, the restoration relies on healthy surrounding bone to fuse and bond with the post. If you have bone loss, we may suggest a bone graft prior to the implants being placed. Certain medical conditions may prevent you from having the procedure, like if you have an ailment that keeps your body from healing quickly and easily on its own. An exam and thorough review of your health history will determine if implants are right for you.

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How long do Dental Implants take to heal?

On average, dental implants take 4 to 6 months to heal. The expected recovery time for dental implants also depends on the position of the implant. For example, the lower posterior implant may need less time to integrate with the bone compared to the upper posterior implants, but there are many steps prior to placing the final prosthesis.

Steps involved

The amount of time required from start to finish depends on the status of the tooth prior to the extraction.

If you have a lot of infection prior to the tooth removal, your dentist may delay the placement of the implant and wait for the infection to resolve. If the implants are placed in soft bone, either due to osteoporosis, diabetes or other health conditions, it may be prudent to wait for a longer healing period.

If you are having implants placed for complete dentures, the process may differ compared to getting a single implant and a crown.

In short, the length of healing time required depends on:

  1. Your general health
  2. How difficult the tooth extraction is
  3. How soon after the dental extraction the implant is placed
  4. The quality of your bone at the site of placement
  5. The position of the implant and the purpose ( if it is replacing a single tooth vs multiple teeth)

The process may be as short as 5 months to as long as 12 to 18 months depending on your requirements.

Are Dental Implants painful?

Placement of dental implants is a type of surgery. As with any surgery and on the number of dental implants being placed, the procedure may be considered a minor or a major surgery.

As expected, there will be some pain associated with dental implant surgery. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medications to help with pain and swelling. Your pain should be manageable by day 2 after surgery. If you have had multiple dental implants placed, the gum may be sore for up to 2 weeks. But if you are experiencing severe pain even after 2 weeks please contact your dentist right away.

What can you expect during the procedure for a Dental Implant?

During the consultation, Dr. B will discuss any sedative options available to you. The procedure begins by administering this sedation. A slight incision is made through the gums and the implant body is then placed in the bone. The gums will then be sutured and you’ll be provided with aftercare instructions important for your recovery. Over the course of several months, the implant’s post will fully fuse with the surrounding bone and you’ll come back in for a crown, bridge or denture to be made for that area.

If you would like to learn more about Dental Implants, contact us today and we can schedule an appointment for you to come in for a consultation.

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