Getting any kind of dental work often requires more than one visit to the dentist's office, but dental implants are a little different. If you're interested in dental implants, chances are you've heard that you will need to make multiple visits to your dentist's office over a few weeks or months' time. If you're wondering why this is necessary, or want to know if the process can be sped up, here's your answer.
The Multi-Step Process
Getting dental implants is typically done in multiple stages at the dentist's office. You'll go in once to discuss your desire for implants. Next, your dentist will take the opportunity to examine your mouth and to run some x-rays. If everything is agreed upon, your dentist will order your custom implants.
Once the implants are ready, you'll come back in again. The implants will be put in place surgically. Then, your gums will be closed up, and you'll be sent home one more time.
Finally, you'll come in a last time to have your new dental crowns put on top of the implants (the posts supporting your crowns). Once this step is done, the whole process is complete.
Why it Takes a While
Most dental procedures, like fillings and crowns, occur over the top of the teeth, where the work can all be seen. Implants, on the other hand, require work that goes all the way down into your gums and then even into the bone of your jaw.
In addition to allowing the incisions time to heal so that you're comfortable and not at risk of infection, the implant itself requires more time to heal. This is because once your crown is in place on top of it, you'll be putting constant pressure onto the implant. Without proper support at the base of the implant, it could wiggle, dislodge, or cause pain. Instead, your dentist will wait until the bone in your jaw has grown new cells and secured the implant safely in place. Only then will it be safe to apply pressure to it with a crown.
It's Worth It!
Dental implants take a little longer to get going than some other dental procedures, but the wait is well worth it. In return, you get a tooth replacement that closely mimics the original, providing you with a solid biting surface, a solid artificial root in the form of the implant underneath it, and dental implants can last a very long time.
There's no real way around visiting your dentist a few times for dental implants, but it's for the best. Allowing yourself the time required to heal and letting your dentist do their best will provide you with a sturdy, long-lasting tooth replacement that won't let you down when you need it.