If you’re in the market to replace a missing tooth, chances are you’ve heard of a dental implant. This is because dental implants are the most realistic tooth replacement option available. While an implant brags many reasons why it’s a dentist’s favorite, some people may find the treatment exhausting. This post will discuss the step-by-step dental implant healing stages and how you can heal faster.
But before we get into the implant healing stages, let’s quickly look at what dental implants are.
What Is A Dental Implant?
We’ve already mentioned that a dental implant best replaces a missing tooth. But here is a little information on them.
The Structure of A Dental Implant
A dental implant is made of three distinct parts, each serving a different purpose.
The Implant Post
The post is also known as the base of the implant. The dentist places it within the jawbone via a surgical procedure. The purpose of the post is to provide stability to the implant.
It mimics the natural tooth root and fuses with the jawbone over time to form a stable support.
Also known as the connector, its purpose is precisely what the name suggests. The dentist screws the abutment on the implant post to “connect” the base with the artificial tooth.
The Artificial Tooth
To replace a single missing tooth, a dental crown is the restoration of choice. Its purpose is to take the place of the lost tooth and restore appearance and function.
The Steps of the Dental Implant Procedure
I’d like to brief you quickly on the various steps involved in the dental implant procedure.
Step 1: The Consultation
The thing about a dental implant is that you can’t walk in and ask for one. Your dentist has to put you through an extensive physical and digital examination process to assess whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment.
An ideal patient usually –
- Has good oral health
- Has good quality and quantity of jawbone
- Has no history of any debilitating medical conditions
- Isn’t a smoker
- Is willing to commit to the lengthy process
- Has a robust support system
The decision of the dental implant comes down to what your dentist thinks.
Step Two: The Surgery
When the dentist gives the go-ahead to proceed with the implant treatment, the first step is the surgical placement of the implant post.
It is done under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia – whichever works for you.
Your dentist will create a space in the jawbone and insert the implant base. Afterward, they stitch up the gums, give you medication, and send you home to recuperate.
Sometimes, pre-surgeries may also be done for the following reasons –
- To remove any rotten or infected teeth
- To fortify the jawbone with the help of a bone graft (in cases where the existing jawbone isn’t enough to support the implant base)
Step Three: The Placement of the Abutment
Once the bone fuses with the post, the dentist places the abutment on top of the base.
They will also take impressions to fabricate the artificial tooth.
Step Four: The Placement of The Artificial Tooth
Later, the dentist screws the dental crown on top of the implant structure. This completes the implant treatment.
However, the dentist will ask that you come in to visit at regular intervals to make sure that you’re doing well.
Step-by-Step Dental Implant Healing Stages
The various healing stages in the dental implant process can take between six to twelve months. Here is what you can expect –
Before Implant Placement
A bone graft or a sinus lift surgery done before the implant procedure has the following healing times –
- The initial healing stage takes as little as two weeks
- The complete healing can take up to one month
The implant procedure is only scheduled once the bone graft fuses with the jawbone.
If your dentist removes a tooth, you may need to wait ten weeks for the site to heal before starting the implant process. However, if you have sufficient bone density, your dentist might place the implant base immediately after removing the tooth.
After The Placement of the Implant Post
There are two healing stages following implant surgery.
- The surgical site heals in up to two weeks.
- The osseointegration – where the bone fuses with the implant base – can take anywhere between 8 weeks and 9 months, depending on your immune system and the number of implants you receive
After The Placement of the Abutment
The abutment placement qualifies as minor surgery.
The healing takes between two weeks and one month.
After The Placement of the Restoration
There isn’t a “healing stage” after the prosthesis is placed. You walk out of the appointment with a beautiful, complete smile, ready to take on the world!
Steps to Heal Faster During the Dental Implant Treatment
To expedite the dental implant healing, here are some general tips that can help, especially right after the post is placed in the jawbone –
- Get plenty of rest
- Stay hydrated
- Eat soft, nutritious foods
- Use an ice pack to minimize swelling during the first few hours after surgery.
- Start warm salt water rinses 24 hours after surgery; rinsing 3-4 times a day helps promote healing.
- Practice good oral hygiene, but be gentle close to the surgical site
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products
Dental Implants At Osseo Dental, MN
Osseo Family Dental is a practice that offers superb care and advanced techniques of more extensive operations with the personalized feel of a hometown, neighborhood dentist.
Our dental experts are Doctors Robert Springer and Greg Joiner, and they foster a positive, judgment-free environment to maximize your comfort at each visit.
And because we’re a family dental establishment, you can bring everyone in your family to us. Our team provides dental services to anyone and everyone!
You can call us or use our contact form to make an appointment or just get acquainted. We look forward to getting to know you!