Depending on your oral health and your need for preparatory treatments, the process of getting dental implants can take anywhere from 6-12 months or longer. Every patient is different. So what should you expect if you get dental implants from Dr. James Martin at Life Dentistry? Here’s a guide to the entire process.
Initial implant consultation
First, you’ll need to come into our office near Lafayette and Louisville for an appointment with Dr. James Martin. He will perform a comprehensive oral exam, take x-rays, and assess your oral health to ensure that you’re a good candidate for treatment. If you’re approved, he will begin creating your treatment plan, and schedule your implant placement surgery.
(Optional) Preparatory surgeries
In some cases, you may need additional surgeries before you can have an implant, such as a bone graft to strengthen your jaw, alveoloplasty (jaw bone smoothing) to ensure the proper fit for an implant, or a tooth extraction to remove a dead tooth. Dr. Martin will inform you if you require one of these pre-implant surgeries, and discuss the details with you.
Implant placement surgery
The next step is to have your dental implant placed. You’ll come into our office, and Dr. Martin will clean and numb the treatment area, and insert a small metal post into your gums and jaw bone. Then, the area around the implant will be cleaned and sutured shut to promote healing, and you will be sent home to recover.
Recovery, healing & osseointegration
You’ll get a comprehensive set of recovery instructions from Dr. Martin. Your mouth will be healed within about 2 weeks. However, the process of “osseointegration” that bonds your implant to your jaw bone will take between 3-6 months. You will need to see us a few times while your mouth heals so that we can check your progress.
Implant restoration design
During your recovery period, you’ll come into our office for a few follow-up appointments. Once your mouth has mostly healed, Dr. Martin will take impressions of your teeth, gums, and dental implant. Then, he will send these impressions to a dental lab, where your implant restoration (such as a dental crown) will be built.
A few weeks before your final appointment, you’ll need to come into our office to have an abutment placed on your implant. At this appointment, Dr. Martin will expose your implant and attach the abutment, which is what connects your implant and your implant-supported restoration.
Final implant restoration placement
Once your abutment has been placed and it’s healed, you’ll come in for your last appointment. Dr. Martin will check your implant restoration to make sure that it fits perfectly. Then, he will bond it into place permanently, completing the procedure.
Know what to expect if you get a dental implant!
Each patient is different, so your dental implant timeline may not look exactly like this, but this overview is a good way to learn more about each step involved in the process. Want to learn more, or find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Contact Life Dentistry online now, or give us a call at (970) 289-5433.