It’s true that the dental implant process takes time. From the initial consultation to surgical placement to receiving your final restoration, you can be looking at several months of appointments and recovery before you get to enjoy your brand-new smile. Fortunately, it is well worth the investment in time and money. But how long does it really take for these unique restorations to fuse properly with the bone? An implant dentist in Marietta, OH, explains how long you can expect osseointegration to take and why it’s an integral part of the entire process.
Why is Osseointegration Important to the Overall Process?
Osseointegration is the process of the surgically placed dental implants fusing with the jawbone and surrounding tissues. This is one of, if not, the most important component of the entire implant process simply because without it, your restorations would not remain in place.
Osseointegration allows for your restoration to sit firmly on top of your implants, creating a stable and durable smile. Because these posts mimic the natural tooth structure, it is imperative they fuse with the bone just like a normal tooth root. This allows for continuous stimulation of the bone, preventing many of the most common problems associated with tooth loss (i.e., facial collapse, shifting of natural teeth).
How Dental Implant Placement and Restoration Work
Before you can begin the osseointegration process, however, your dentist must successfully place and position your implants into your jawbone. Depending on the number of posts you need to replace your missing teeth, they will need to make one or more incisions in the gum tissue before exposing the bone and situating the implants into their desired positions. After closing the gums, you will be sent home to recover for 4-6 months, allowing osseointegration to occur. This timeline can vary based on the number of implants that are placed and your lifestyle habits. Smoking or using tobacco products can significantly prolong your recovery time, which is why it is strongly advised that you quit before surgery.
Once you are fully healed, you will return to have a minor surgical procedure that involves reopening the gum tissue and placing a healing cap over the top of the implant. This will keep the tissue from closing over the post. You will then receive the final restoration that will be placed over the abutment and give you a healthy, beautiful smile.
While the process is time-consuming, it’s important to find an implant dentist who will not rush it. Once you see the results of your investment, you’ll realize it was well worth the wait.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee attended dental school at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry from 1995-1999. He then completed a four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. After finishing his residency, Dr. Lee went on to serve in the United States Navy. He has also earned a Master of Science degree in the area of dental implants. Dr. Lee and his team at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery are equipped and trained to restore smiles using the most superior method of treatment – dental implants. Ensuring high-quality dental care, he will take the time to make sure your implants look natural and feel comfortable, so you can enjoy your new smile for many years. To learn how we can help you, contact us at (740) 432-8768.