When you have a permanent adult tooth lost due to decay or damage, you have several options to replace that tooth. An option that maintains the integrity of your jawbone is the dental implant; however, the process of getting one can take a while. Depending on the shape of your jaw, you may need a bone graft to strengthen it before you can continue. Your dentist and specialists will help you to figure out the best way forward for your unique case.
How Does a Dental Implant Help My Jaw?
The implant is a titanium rod that heals directly into your jawbone, fusing and becoming part of it. The top of the rod sticks out of your gum line and has a cap of a porcelain tooth crown. When you chew with this porcelain tooth, it stimulates your gums and your jawbone, helping to keep this tissue alive and free from infection.
What Are the Steps of a Dental Implant?
A dental implant happens over several stages depending on the state of your oral health and your reason for the procedure. The decayed or damaged tooth must come out before anything else can happen. Your jawbone will undergo a bone graft and heal, if necessary. The titanium rod will then be implanted in your jawbone and another healing period that can last up to a few months will ensue. The final step is an abutment, another part of the metal rod, and the porcelain tooth that crowns the implant.
How Long Will This Process Take?
This whole process can take from three to nine months, and sometimes longer, depending on the healing process. The procedures are generally outpatient, but the healing times between them will require your patience. That’s why it’s so important to take care your dental implant once you have it.