What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is, generally speaking, the best option for replacing a lost tooth or a tooth that is no longer savable. There are two components of the dental implant: the dental implant itself, and the implant crown. The implant itself is a titanium fixture that goes into the jaw. Over a period of 3-6 months, the jaw bone grows into the titanium implant (known as osseointegration). Once the implant is osseointegrated, an implant crown is placed. The implant crown is attached to the titanium implant via a connector piece, called an abutment.
How long do implants take?
After the implant is placed, it will take 3-6 months for the body to heal around the implant. After the healing period, the dentist takes an impression and two weeks later we will have the implant crowns back from the lab to insert. Sometimes if multiple teeth are missing, the process following the implant impression may take slightly longer. At the beginning of your case, our dentists will carefully discuss the timeframe and exactly what to expect in your specific case.
Do Implants Hurt?
When placing implants, we use the same numbing anesthesia that we use for routine cavities or crowns. Most patients do not find implants to be a difficult procedure. They are surprised at how easy it is.
Why do implants take 3-6 months?
After the titanium implant is placed into the jaw, we wait for the body to form new bone around the implant. The mandible (bottom jaw) takes 3 months to grow enough new bone around the implant while the maxilla (top jaw) takes 6 months to grow enough new bone around the implant.