If you’re considering undergoing an implant-based restoration, you’re not alone. The global dental implant market will likely be worth around 13 billion by 2023 as more and more people choose this replacement option. But as you’re probably aware, getting dental implants takes several stages across several months to complete. With this in mind, we’ll look at the tooth implant process detailing what it entails and what you can expect.
Steps and stages at a glance
In essence, the dental implant procedure can be broken down into three main parts
- The consultation and planning stage
- Dental implant surgery
Each stage of the tooth implant process is vital to achieving a stable and long-lasting restoration. So Let’s take a look at each step in closer detail.
Step one – Consultation and planning
The truth is that not everyone is eligible for dental implants. If you have severe heart conditions or chronic diseases like uncontrolled diabetes, or you’re a heavy smoker, then dental implants might not be an option. For this reason, potential implant patients can expect to attend an in-depth consultation.
The good news is that if you look for a free dental consultation near you, it’s easy to find out whether you’re eligible without it costing you a penny. Here at Complete Dental, for example, we’re a dentist that offers a free consultation at our Coorparoo and Elanora dental clinics, so come and see for yourself.
During an initial consultation, we will examine your medical history and current oral health to decide whether the dental implant procedure is the best option. We’ll also answer any questions or concerns about the tooth implant process, so you can make an informed decision about what you’d like to do. If you’re happy to proceed, we’ll equip you with a personalised treatment plan detailing what needs to be done, in what timescale and how much it will cost. Once you’re happy and everything is signed off, we will start planning your dental implant surgery.
Every dental implant procedure is carefully planned to minimise biological and technical complications that may occur during or after the surgical process to achieve a fully functional, aesthetic and long-lasting outcome. The implant dentist and their team do any planning, so you don’t need to be involved at this point. Once plans have been finalised, you’ll be called forward to undergo the next stage of the process.
Step two – Dental implant surgery
This is the part of the dental implant procedure that many people are concerned about, but in truth, and, in most cases, they needn’t be. Any discomfort should be minimal (if anything at all) because any potential problems would have been ironed out in a risk assessment during the planning stage. Therefore, when it comes to dental implant surgery, anchoring the implant into the jaw remains a relatively straightforward and speedy process, requiring just an hour at most in the chair. A local anaesthetic ensures minimal discomfort, but many dentists now provide conscious sedation options should a patient feel anxious or nervous.
Step 3 – Recovery/Osseointegration
The final phase of the tooth implant process is recovery and osseointegration. Once dental implants are in place, they need time to stabilise in the jaw. Generally speaking, initial recovery from dental implant surgery is quick but will depend on how many implants are placed and where. For example, some patients who undergo a single dental implant procedure may recover in as little as 1-2 days. Alternatively, patients who undergo multiple dental implants may need 1-2 weeks to recover fully.
Either way, any discomfort should easily be brought under control using a combination of over-the-counter pain killers like paracetamol, anti-inflammatory medications and cold compresses.
After a couple of weeks, any discomfort, swelling or bruising should disappear completely, allowing you to return to normal. Of course, you will need to avoid exceptionally chewy or hard foods for a while, but only until the implant stabilises. This is where osseointegration comes in.
One of the significant advantages of dental implants is that they’re a standalone restoration. So, unlike conventional bridges or dentures, dental implants don’t rely on the support of natural teeth. Instead, and over a period of 2-5 months, remaining bone tissue fuses with the implant to create a super-stable structure that can support a dental crown, bridge or denture.
The good news is that this part of the dental implant procedure is a pain-free process that you won’t even know is happening. So you get to live your everyday life whilst requiring only occasional visits to the dentist in the interim.
Once the dentist determines that the dental implants are stable, they will call you back to fit your permanent restoration.
So there you have it, the tooth implant process in a nutshell. Overall, you can expect the process to last anywhere between four and nine months, but the results are definitely worth the wait.
If you’d like to learn more about any aspect of the dental implant procedure, we invite you to get a free consultation at your local Complete Dental clinic. Book a consultation today to get all your concerns answered and see if you’re eligible for life-changing dental implants.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Pub Med – The Development And Future Of Dental Implants
Why Dental Implants.Org – What Is Osseointegration