Why is Dental Implant Recovery Time So Long?

woman dentist take implant tooth

Dental implants are by far the most effective way to replace a missing tooth, but many patients are put off by the very lengthy process described by their dentists when describing the complete procedure that can take as long as 6-8 months to complete.

Here’s an overview of what to expect during an implant healing process, and why the treatment time is as long as it is in order to have a successful implant.

Planning Out Your Personal Implant Timeline

There are several factors that impact the exact length of time it will take to complete your specific implant procedure. For example, the process will take considerably longer if you require a bone graft first before any actual implant procedure can begin. In order to have a successful implant, you must have sufficient jawbone density to accommodate the dental implant.

If You Need A Bone Graft

If you have advanced stages of gum disease, or if you wait a long time to replace a missing tooth, it can result in an erosion of the bone structure beneath your missing tooth. In this type of situation, you may require 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 allows your dentist to use your own bone, or a processed bone material to rebuild your jawbone structure. Requiring a bone graft extends your length of time it will take to complete your implant because your body needs to be completely healed before the implant procedure can begin, which generally takes 3-4 months.

Dental Implant Placement and Osseointegration

Once your jawbone and gum tissue is healthy and completely healed from your bone graft, the first phase of your dental implant procedure will be to surgically insert the dental implant into your jawbone. It generally takes about an hour to place a single implant and once placed, it will take roughly 4-6 months to heal.

What is Osseointegration?

During the healing process after your implant has been successfully placed, the bone will then fuse 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 the tooth, creating a complete restoration.

When Exactly Will I Get a Replacement Tooth?

One of the things most patients don’t realize prior to having a dental implant is that the actual implant isn’t a tooth, but a post that fuses to your jawbone. Once osseointegration is completed and your jawbone is healed, you’re ready for the final stages of the implant process – getting a prosthetic tooth.

An abutment will be attached to your dental implant and your new prosthetic tooth, connecting the two together. Your gums will once again go through a healing process after the abutment is attached, which typically takes a few weeks. During this healing time, your new prosthetic tooth will be crafted, creating a dental crown. Once the crown is complete and your gums are healed from the abutment, you will have a finished implant and a fully functional replacement tooth.

For Patients Requiring Multiple Implants

If you are missing one or more teeth due to decay, injury or disease, you may be a candidate for TeethXpress. TeethXpress is for patients with a full denture that is ill-fitting and with no teeth in both jaws, or in one jaw. To find out more about whether you’re a candidate for this procedure, request a consultation with Cherrywood Dental Associates.

While the implant process takes a long time, it’s well worth the wait to have a restoration that feels and acts just like a natural tooth. If you need to replace a missing tooth, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to schedule your consultation appointment.

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