Dental Implant Healing Stages
Dental Implant Healing Stages and How To Care for Your Teeth
If you have missing teeth, you should consider getting dental implants. There are several advantages that implants have over other types of restorations, such as dentures:
- Easier to maintain
- Fewer follow-up visits
- Decreased risk to the jaw
- Better healing of gums
Dental implants are also a more permanent solution and look more natural than dentures. When you are in need of dental restorations, it helps to know more about dental implant healing stages so you can make the best decision for your needs.
What Are the Dental Implant Healing Stages?
Dental implants happen in stages, with healing between each step. The whole restorative process could take up to a year. Here are the basic steps.
1. Comprehensive Dental Exam and Teeth Removal
The first thing your dentist will do is perform a dental exam, including X-rays. The examination will include assessing your bone health and overall dental health. If necessary, either your regular dentist or an oral surgeon removes the appropriate teeth. Recovery time after extraction of teeth will be around one to two weeks. If your tooth is already missing, you get to skip the extraction, but a preliminary exam is still an important part of the process.
2. Possible Bone Graft
Your dentist will schedule a bone graft if you do not have sufficient bone for the implants. If only minimal bone grafting is needed, the dentist might perform the graft and implant in the same visit. However, since it takes time for the grafted bone to grow enough new bone to support the implant, this procedure is usually scheduled several months before the dental implant. This part of the dental implant healing stages can take anywhere from a few weeks to three or four months.
3. Dental Implants Inserted
In this step, the dentist drills holes in the jawbone and places metal posts. Similar to a natural tooth root, implants must be planted deep into the bone. It takes about two to three months for the bone to grow around the implanted post.
After the metal posts are stabilized, the abutment, which holds the tooth crown, is added. The gum is then closed around the area, which will take another two or three months to heal.
Finally, the dentist places the crowns. These will be the correct size and shape based on molds or scans of your natural teeth.
How Do You Care for Your Teeth After Dental Implants?
If you have one or two implants, you can care for your teeth as usual. Brush at least twice a day, floss, and have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist twice a year.
If all of your teeth are dental implants, in addition to brushing at least twice a day, use a water flosser to clean well under the bridge to ensure the removal of all food. Seeing a hygienist familiar with dental implants is also essential as the cleaning process is different.
What’s Next After Completing the Dental Implant Healing Stages?
After you heal from your dental implant procedure, follow up regularly with your dentist and hygienist. It is important to have checkups to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
To learn more about the dental implant healing stages, call Lakeshore Dental SC. Set up an appointment today to discuss dental implants and all your other dental needs.