One of the main goals of dentistry is to keep your natural teeth healthy and functional. We do our very best, then, to preserve them whenever possible in order to keep your oral health in good shape. Sometimes, however, it is impossible to save a tooth and the more viable option becomes to extract and replace it. And while we cannot simply grow a new tooth to replace the one you have lost, modern dentistry does offer the next best thing: a replacement tooth that functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants are an important and effective option for individuals facing tooth extracting.
What is dental implant surgery?
In order to place dental implants—posts made from metal that serve as an “artificial root system” for your replacement tooth—there are a few different steps we go through. First of all, the tooth that is located where the implant is set to go must be completely removed. Once that has been done and the area in question has been cleared of diseased or otherwise infected tissue and other matter, the dental implant can be placed. Note that these are placed in the socket where your extracted tooth once stood.
How long does dental implant surgery take?
The length of time that you spend in the chair undergoing dental implant surgery largely depends upon your specific situation. Some cases take longer than others to resolve, but you can generally expect to spend around one to two hours in our offices while having dental implant surgery.
How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?
To answer this question, it is important that you understand that dental implants are not merely “cemented” or otherwise fixed in place. Instead, they must fuse with your jaw just like your tooth did. This is how they are able to be such effective replacement options for natural teeth. It takes time for this fusion to take place, however, and you can expect the process to take around three to six months. That is not to say that your mouth will be raw or that you will have an open wound for this amount of time—on the contrary, your gums will heal just like they would with any other dental surgery, and a crown can be placed a few weeks after the surgery. You will be able to use the implant, but it will simply take a bit of time for it to become part of your jaw.
In general, you can expect that much of the surface area surrounding the dental implant will heal within a few weeks, at which point the artificial tooth will be placed. Depending upon your circumstances, we might give you certain guidelines about what you can and can’t do with the implant while it is fusing to your jaw. This will all be more than worth it once it completely heals and you have a replacement tooth that looks and feels just like the natural one!
To learn more about dental implant surgery and how it can help you, give us a call today at (662) 586-2311!