Getting a dental implant is one of the most complex and important restorative procedures patients can get to restore their oral health. The treatment is completed across multiple sessions and the patient needs to heal before getting a crown on the implant. Some patients will even wear temporary crowns before the final result is achieved.
This being said, let’s break down the implant treatment process into the main steps and see the timeline of an average procedure.
First of all, the doctor needs to assess whether you are a good candidate for getting a dental implant. They will examine your mouth and teeth, take x-rays to see if there are roots left and if you have enough jaw bone tissue to support the implant.
You will also have a preliminary discussion about your medical history, any medication you may be taking, and other details relevant to the treatment.
Some patients will need a bone graft or bone smoothing before getting a dental implant. This involves surgery, sometimes collecting bone tissue from another part of the body, and it can take up to a year to heal. Fortunately, not all patients will need this step.
Getting the metal implant fixed in your jawbone is usually done 1-2 weeks after your first consultation. The initial healing process takes 1-2 weeks (for the gum area to heal), but the osseointegration - the process through which the implant bonds with the bone - can take from 3 to 6 months or more. Meanwhile, your crown will be created by dental technicians.
The implant should be fully integrated with your bone tissue before you get the crown. You will come to regular checkups during this time. The dentist will monitor the healing process and take impressions of your teeth and gums to help with the construction of the permanent crown.
The abutment is a metal accessory that attaches the implant to the permanent crown (the artificial tooth). The implant area is opened (since it healed with the gums stitched shut), the abutment is placed, then you are fitted with a healing collar or a temporary crown that prevents the gums from healing over the abutment.
Finally, after the bone graft, implant, abutment, and all the other operations are done and the area has healed completely, you can get your permanent crown. This only takes a single session and will be your final appointment.
Interested in getting a dental implant? Book an appointment with one of the four full-time dentists at Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc. in Oak Park. We are specialized in restorative dentistry and have decades of experience with dental implants.
Contact us for more information or for scheduling an appointment.