The dental implant process
Getting implants takes more time than alternatives like bridges and dentures. Your body needs to heal after each procedure, which means the whole process can take six months or more. But the end result is a natural looking tooth that lasts a lifetime.
First: A full study of your mouth
Your dentist and oral surgeon will use X-Rays to evaluate the health of your jaw and adjoining teeth. Any other concerns — cavities, infections, etc. — will be taken care of before the implants.
You may need bone restoration
If you lost your tooth (or teeth) because of advanced gum disease, or a long time has passed since they were pulled, your jaw bone may be too weak to support an implant. To strengthen it, an oral surgeon will graft sterile bone material onto your jaw. Your surgeon will keep tabs on your progress. It can take up to six months for new bone to grow around the graft.
Second: Placing the implant
Your oral surgeon will install a titanium bolt deep into your jaw. Sounds scary, but it’s a relatively simple procedure. It just takes a little local numbing. You won’t feel a thing. Once the bolt is placed, the surgeon will cover it with a temporary crown.
"Osseo" means bone in Latin (os in French, hueso in Spanish!) "Integration" you probably know! During osseointegration, the bone of your jaw grows around and into the implant. After 3-6 months, the bolt is as firmly rooted in your jaw as a natural tooth.
Third: Dental impressions and crown design
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to make a mold of your entire mouth. A lab will use the impression to cast a three-dimensional model of your teeth that they'll use to craft the permanent crown that will mount on your implant. The lab will shape your new crown so that it blends in naturally with your teeth.
Fourth: Placing the crown
Once your implant is completely healed and ready to support your new crown, your dentist will install it permanently. You'll be able to bite, gnaw and chew with it just like a natural tooth. Plus, your jawbone will stay healthy and strong.