Getting dental implants to replace missing teeth is a common option that many people choose today. Implants are strong and durable and work like natural teeth, but in order for an implant to last the dentist must wait for the process of osseointegration to fully occur before completing the implant process.
What Is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is a term you will hear when getting dental implants, and it refers to what happens with your jawbone and the implant your dentist will place in it. The implant is put into the jawbone as one of the first steps of the implant process, and over time the jawbone and implant will fuse together to form a very strong bond. Therefore, osseointegration is the process of the two different parts becoming one. Dentists will always check to make sure this process is complete before proceeding to the next steps of an implant.
Why Is Osseointegration Important?
This process is one of the most vital steps for a successful implant because it holds the implant in place. After the dentist places the implant and waits for the process of osseointegration to occur, he or she will then complete the other steps, which involve attaching the abutment to the implant and the crown to the abutment. If this is done before osseointegration takes place, there is a higher risk for implant failure.
How Long Will This Process Take?
Because the process of osseointegration needs to take place during the implant process, getting an implant takes time. After getting the implant placed in your jaw, your dentist will probably ask you to return to the clinic to have it checked after approximately three to four months. The dentist will take x-rays to see if the process is complete. It normally takes longer for the upper jaw to complete the process compared to the lower jaw, and in all it may take five to six months for the complete process from start to finish. In some cases, this process can happen faster, and it often depends on the person's health. Healthy people tend to heal faster than people who have health issues.
If you have a gap between two of your teeth, you should visit a dentist to learn more about the options you have for filling in the gap. You can learn more by contacting a local dental clinic today to schedule a visit with an implant dentist.