I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Dental implants provide a natural-looking, easy to maintain option for replacing missing teeth, but it isn't an instant fix. Implants can typically take at least four months, and sometimes a year or more, from start to finish. The following can help you understand the timeline.
Your first task is to have your dentist perform a thorough evaluation to see if implants are the right choice for you. Not only will your dental health be considered, but your overall health must also be assessed to make sure you do not have any conditions or are on any medications that could impact the procedure. Your dentist will also assess your jaw bone and gum health. If you are a good candidate, you can proceed to implant surgery immediately.
Many people will need to have preparatory procedures done in advance of having implants put in. These include tooth removal, bone grafts, or gum surgery. Completion and recovery from these procedures will impact your implant timeline. If you only need teeth pulled, the delay may only be a week or two. For those needing bone or gum grafts, add one to two months to your timeline so that you can recover from these procedures before the implant takes place.
Implant Placement and Recovery
The placement procedure will only require a few hours if you are having only a few implants installed. For those with multiple implant installations, your dentist may perform several placement surgeries over several weeks instead of installing them all at once. Once the implant posts are in place, you will have to undergo a recovery period so that your jaw bone can properly fuse with the new implants. Recovery time varies, but typically takes anywhere from three to six months. During this time you will have frequent assessments by your dentist to verify that everything is healing properly and that your body is not rejecting the implant posts.
Once your implant has healed and is fused properly, the exciting day arrives when the crowns are placed. Towards the end of your implant recovery, your dentist will order the crowns, which will be custom molded to look just like your natural teeth. This procedure only requires a short office visit in order to place the crowns. Once the crowns are in place and your smile is complete, you will need to brush and floss the implants just as you would your natural teeth. You can now smile with confidence.
Contact a dentist to learn more about the dental implant placement timeline.