How long does dental implantation take?
Since the 1960s, dental implants have been around and have progressively developed into an ideal substitute for the real tooth. The procedures involved for dental implants have now become more mainstreamed and advanced than ever. In fact, some procedures can be done on an outpatient basis depending on the type of the dental implant recommended by the dentist.
Dental implant is a process of replacing a tooth with an artificial tooth that is carefully manufactured and designed to function like a real tooth. The artificial tooth is used to replace a tooth that has been missing or damaged by a disease or an accident. Dental implant is also considered as a preferable alternative to the extensive bridgework, which requires a dentist to drill the surrounding of the tooth to support the cement bridge. It also provides various benefits such as real tooth functions, last longer, less long-term damages, replaces the root, and prevents bone decay.
Patients need to go through a pre-operative evaluation to find out if they qualify for a dental implant. Dentists need to take into consideration some factors including the age of the patient, the bone strength, health of the jaw bone, how long the tooth has been missing, and how long does dental implantation take. They also require CT scan, dental scan, and blood work from the patient. They will then discuss the options and choices of implants with the patient for better understanding.
For cases when the patient’s jaw bones need reconstruction or if the patient has been wearing dentures for a long period of time, bone grafting might be necessary in performing dental implants. At times, this can be the very first step of the dental implant process and it can be a very lengthy procedure. It usually takes four to six months for the bone to stabilize and heal, allowing the jaw bone to hold efficiently the implant structures.
The dental implant consists of a base and a crown. Both are then attached to the jaw bone through the gums. The crown is the tooth’s replica, designed to function like a real tooth. The base is also designed to last throughout the patient’s lifetime. Hence, this process requires numerous surgeries to complete the tooth implant.
After the damaged tooth has been removed and the area for the dental implant has been prepared, the next procedure is to fix the implant base into the jaw bone. It is attached to the gums where the real tooth once was and waits until it bonds well with the jaw bone. This process usually takes a few months to allow the gums and the jaw bones to get used to the implant base. During this process, the patient is also required to take antibiotics to prevent infections or complications on the implant site.
Once the implant base has bonded to the jaw bone, the next step in performing a dental implant is the insertion of the threaded titanium cylinder into the patient’s jaw bones. It is a screw-like device that functions as an extension to the base and it is where the crown can be attached to. Usually, it is done in outpatient method using a local anesthetic for a few teeth implants and general anesthetic for numerous teeth implants.
Once the jaw bone and the titanium cylinder have fused together, a cap resembling a tooth can now be added. This procedure allows the gums to form around the cap. After a few weeks, the gums have already healed around the tooth-like structure, the temporary cap will be removed and the permanent tooth can now be added.
How long does dental implantation take depends mainly on how it is performed. It has been categorized into three groups: immediate dental procedure, early dental implant which takes twelve weeks to complete, and the delayed dental implant which normally takes three to six months to complete.