What is the procedure for getting dental implants?

First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.

Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.

Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)

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Replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant is a multi-stage process. A dentist first makes an incision in your gums and implants an artificial root made of titanium. The incision is stitched up and you'll be sent home to let the root fuse with the bone in your jaw. Once the root is secure, you'll return to complete the process. The dentist will make a new incision in the gums and attach a metal post called an abutment to the root. Finally, the dentist will cover the abutment with a crown, or artificial tooth designed to match your existing teeth.

There is a surgical and restorative phase to implant placement. The first phase begins when the implant is placed into the bone. The implant remains covered for three to six months. During this time, the bone attaches to the implant, solidifying the connection to support the new tooth or teeth. In the meantime, the doctor will provide temporary teeth.

After the healing period, the second phase begins. The implant is uncovered and the restorative doctor attaches abutments or posts to the implant. It should be noted that only in rare cases will the patient go without teeth for a significant length of time.

Approximately two to six weeks later, the gum tissue around the posts will have healed, and your doctor will construct and attach your permanent replacement teeth.

We can now offer “teeth in an hour”. In certain cases, we can not only place but also immediately load one or more implants, providing function as well as immediate cosmetic results.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.