If you are considering dental implants to correct your tooth loss while improving the appearance of your smile, you have made a great decision. However, the process of getting dental implants can be a long one. While the end results are well worth the time and effort that you’ll need to put into the dental implant process, it is important that you are well aware of the timeline associated with this treatment option. Remember that treatment times vary, so your individual progress and healing times will also be a factor in how quickly you move through the treatment timeline.

Your Consultation

The first step in the process of getting dental implants is to meet with your dentist for a consultation. Dental implants require an extensive treatment process, and implants won’t be the best option for all patients. Your consultation will allow your dentist to examine your teeth, jaws, and gums. Your dentist will determine if your mouth is healthy enough to support the implants, and you’ll also discuss your overall health. If you are taking certain medications or have medical conditions like diabetes, this information will need to be considered when deciding if implants will be successful in your mouth.

Bone Grafting

Some patients may be a good candidate for dental implants but don’t have enough bone in their jaw to support the implant. In these situations, bone grafting may be necessary. Your dentist will remove bone from another part of your body or mouth, and it will then be placed at the site of the future implant. You’ll need to take several weeks or even months to heal from this procedure before you can move on to get your implants.

Placement

The big day has finally arrived; it’s time to have your implants placed! During the placement procedure, your dentist will drill a small hole into your gums and jawbone. The implant is then placed into the hole in the jaw. After the implant is put into place, images will be taken of the mouth to ensure that the implant has been successfully inserted into the correct position.

Healing

After your implants have been put into place, you’ll need to take anywhere from three to six months to heal from the surgery. While your jaw heals, osseointergration will occur. This means that the implant will bond to and integrate with your jawbone. This is an essential piece of the process, and it is necessary for your implant to look and function like a normal tooth.

Restorations are Placed

Once your jaw and gums have healed after your implant placement, your dentist will determine if enough osseointergration has occurred. If your dentist is happy with your progress, your restorations will be put into place. These are normal dental crowns that look just like your natural teeth. Once the permanent fixtures are put into place, your gums will begin to grow around them, helping them to blend in with the rest of the natural teeth. Now, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful new smile and will no longer need to be self conscious about your tooth loss.