Your dentist will conduct an initial consultation to determine your suitability for the dental implant procedure, including a full medical history. They will also perform x-rays to assess whether implants are viable for you, primarily based on the level of bone density in your jaw.
The overall duration of a dental implant procedure hinges mainly on the length of time it takes for your jaw to heal following the initial implantation. On average, there is a gap of 3 months between the implant fitting and having the prosthetic tooth attached. However, the gap can be shorter in some cases.
Overall, we typically advise our patients that single-tooth dental implants can take up to 6-9 months to complete from start to finish.
If your medical history permits you to have dental implants, you will first undergo an x-ray to determine your suitability. With this x-ray, your dentist is checking the shape and density of your jaw bone, as well as other factors. These factors can impact the viability of a dental implant procedure.
During the treatment, your dentist will numb the implantation site to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. They will then place the implant into your jaw and attach a healing cap to protect it over the coming weeks and months.
Once the implantation process is complete, you will need to wait for it to heal before your dentist can attach your prosthetic tooth. You will have periodic follow-up checks to assess the progress of your implant. Once the implant is securely in place, your dentist will fit your new crown, completing the process.
The use of modern local anaesthetics allows us to perform dental implant procedures with minimal discomfort to the patient. If necessary, you can take over-the-counter pain-relief medications for a day or two after the procedure to alleviate any tenderness in the implant site.
It is essential you do not disturb your dental implant during the first few days following its placement. Only eat soft, non-sticky foods and avoid hot liquids for the first 24 hours. Do not drink through a straw, as the force may disrupt your implant.
Continue a soft-food diet for the first one to two weeks and completely avoid chewing in the area of the implant. During the next 3 to 6 months, as the implant fuses with the bone in your jaw, avoiding hard and chewy foods as much as possible will aid the osseointegration process.
Once the process is complete; you can enjoy eating tough, crunchy foods, some of which you may have been avoiding even before you got a dental implant.
Cleaning implant supported tooth replacements is just as important as cleaning natural teeth. Both structures depend on healthy surrounding tissues for support. Plaque collects on the implant just as it does on natural teeth, so daily brushing and flossing at home are essential. If daily cleaning is neglected, an infection known as peri-implantitis can develop leading to loss of bone around the infected implant.
The dental hygienist plays an important role and will clean your implant without damage to the implant and crown.