A patient missing one or more teeth may have a few treatment options to consider when replacing their missing teeth. One popular option is dental implant treatment.
Dental implant treatment involves inserting a titanium rod or “implant post” into the gums of a patient. Over time, the rod should fuse with a patient’s jawbone, allowing it to serve as a replacement tooth root. A crown that resembles a natural, healthy tooth will eventually cover the titanium rod, restoring a patient’s full set of teeth.
You may naturally have questions about dental implants if this is a treatment option you’d like to learn more about. For example, you might want to know how long it takes for dental implants to thoroughly heal.
There is no universal answer to this question. However, the following general overview may help you better understand approximately how long the healing process can take after a dental implant procedure.
How Long Does it Take for Dental Implants to Heal: Important Information
The process of healing after dental implant treatment typically consists of two phases. They are:
- Osseointegration: The implant post needs to fuse with your jawbone to properly support the crown that will cover it. Dental professionals refer to this as osseointegration. Researchers have found it usually takes a minimum of six to eight weeks for full osseointegration to occur. However, it can take longer.
- Placement of crown and abutment: Once your dentist confirms the implant post has fused with your jawbone, they will proceed to place an abutment on the post. The abutment anchors the crown in place. After placing the abutment, they will cover the abutment and titanium rod with a custom crown. The amount of time this stage takes will depend on such factors as how long it may take to fabricate your implant’s crown.
Dental Implant Treatment Timeline: Critical Factors
Various other factors can influence how long dental implant treatment may take. They include the following:
- Whether a patient needs to undergo bone grafting. This may be necessary if a patient’s jawbone isn’t strong enough to support an implant. Bone grafting involves strengthening the jawbone prior to inserting an implant.
- Whether a patient is receiving multiple implants or just one.
- The degree to which a patient strives to avoid putting pressure on the affected area during the healing phase. The more pressure you put on an implant as it fuses with your jawbone, the longer osseointegration may take.
Keep in mind that everyone’s healing capacity is unique. Sometimes, one patient’s body will simply heal more quickly or slowly than another’s. Thus, a dentist may not be able to guarantee the process of receiving dental implants will take a specific length of time.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants may be more time-consuming than other treatment methods for missing teeth. However, this treatment offers several unique benefits, such as:
- Durability: According to research from the National Institutes of Health, with proper care, most dental implants remain in good condition for 15 years or more.
- Functionality: Most dental implants look and function like real teeth.
- Convenience: Unlike dentures, you don’t need to remove dental implants. Cleaning and caring for them typically involves adhering to basic oral hygiene habits.
Discuss this topic with your dentist for more information. They can help determine if dental implant treatment is right for you.