Dental implants are an important advancement in replacing missing teeth. But because the process requires surgery, you may be concerned that the implant treatment includes a long timeline.
Yes, it’s true the process takes longer than a typical dental procedure. But you’ll be happy to know that most of the time spent healing is typically uneventful and doesn’t intrude on your daily life. The entire treatment usually requires two to three separate procedures over a period of six to 12 months, depending on your body’s ability to heal.
And the long-term benefits outweigh the treatment timeline.
Dental implants offer a natural-looking tooth replacement with a trifecta of qualities: Dental implants are highly functional , durable, and exceedingly secure as compared to traditional bridges or dentures. And, since implants are embedded in the jaw, they have the added benefit of stimulating the bone to keep your jaw from eroding.
Periodontist, Dan Holtzclaw, is a leading implant dentist and has placed thousands of successful implants. He has also received numerous awards for both his implants and cosmetic dentistry work. If you want information about implants, he has offices in Austin and Round Rock where he would be happy to explain dental implants treatment and the timeline.
Dental implants are screw-like posts, typically titanium, that are surgically inserted into the jaw, where it will fuse with the bone and ensure a secure base for an artificial tooth or teeth. The process requires the placement of three parts:
- Implant. The screw-like post inserted into the jaw that acts like the root of a tooth.
- Abutment. A piece that connects the implant to the artificial tooth.
- Restoration. The artificial tooth or teeth.
Placing the three parts requires two or three separate procedures over the course of six to 12 months:
The implant is placed while the patient is under IV sedation. Using 3D imaging and a CT scan to guide him, Dr. Holtzclaw will create pilot holes and insert the titanium posts. Since you will typically have a three-month healing period, he will also place a temporary prosthetic tooth to avoid an unattractive gap.
Placing the Abutment
In some cases, the abutment is placed during the implantation surgery. If not, there will be an extra procedure in which the abutment will be attached to the implant after the implant has fused with the bone. This requires opening the gum above the implant and inserting the abutment. This is a minor step that can be performed with local anesthesia.
Placing the Restoration
Once you have healed from the previous steps, the permanent tooth can be attached. The restoration will be designed to blend seamlessly with your other teeth.
The time needed to complete each step varies depending on how quickly the jaw and gums heal, which varies from person to person. In addition, some patients may need bone or gum grafting, to improve their chances of a successful implant.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants, we suggest a personal consultation where we can assess your needs and give you a detailed explanation of how your treatment would proceed. Please call for an appointment.