How Long Does it Take to Get a Dental Implant?
By now just about everyone has heard about “dental implants”. Thanks to television commercials, we are constantly presented with the idea that we could have “new teeth in a day”. But this simply is not the case for most, and I am going to share with you the real truth here.
The truth is that is takes time to properly reconstruct missing teeth. Sure, it would be nice if getting a dental implant were as fast as uploading a selfie of your new smile! But, only a very small percentage of people meet the criteria for having same day teeth. Those criteria include being totally without teeth or needing all your teeth removed. Even then, the denture provided is temporary and will eventually have to be replaced by a more permanent prosthesis in about 6 months.
The truth is BONE HEALS SLOWLY. Just ask someone with a broken arm. The same applies to the jaws. It is possible under some circumstances to place a dental implant and attach a temporary crown or temporary denture attached to multiple implants, but most of the time it is more prudent to allow the bone to completely heal and adhere to the implant before it is loaded with a functional dental appliance.
Too many times, in haste to complete treatment, the implant is loaded with pressure before it is completely healed and the implant fails to heal in the bone. When that occurs the process has to start over from scratch including letting the bone heal properly, and possibly additional bone grafting, before the replacement implant can be surgically placed again.
Therefore, in most cases the implant reconstruction is more predictable with fewer complications when the bone is allowed to heal properly before attaching the crowns or dentures.
So how long does it take to complete the dental implant procedure? Generally, it is best to allow the implants to heal for 4 months before they are “loaded” and the denture is made that is attached to the implants. Again, some modifications to the technique can be made to have a denture attached immediately, but may cause implant failure.
Like most things worth waiting for, proper dental implants cannot always be created overnight. Be patient to allow your Doctor the necessary time to create your new, beautiful smile.
Dr. Anthony P. Urbanek is a double degree Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Dr. Urbanek received his dental degree from Indiana University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Urbanek is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and has served Williamson and Davidson counties for over 30 years. He currently specializes in treating TMJ/TMD with his non-surgical, patented TMJ splint and is also a specialist in Dental Implants and Wisdom Teeth Removal . Learn more at www.drurbanek.com
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