When you have a missing tooth, you probably want to fill in that gap right away. One of the best ways to fill in a gap is with a dental implant. Implants give patients beautiful, natural smiles. However, dental implants are not known to be a quick process. Read on to learn more about a way that speeds up the dental implant process for many.
How Implants Are Done
Rather than going back for several appointments, immediate implants are ready in a single day. Traditionally, dental implants required several visits because of the technique used. The older method calls for the dentist to surgically implant a titanium post into the jawbone of the patient. The implanted post will eventually bond with the jawbone to form a strong anchor for the implant. Unfortunately, the healing process that allows the bone and post to bond could take several months.
Once the jawbone is healed, the patient will return to the dentist's office to have the post topped with a false tooth or crown. While the bone is healing, the patient must be very careful about chewing and placing too much pressure on the new implant. The entire process could end up taking several months in some cases.
Another issue that adds time to the implant process is bone grafting. Not all patients have strong jawbones, and that is a prerequisite for implants. A bone graft procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, however. This adds bone mass to the jawbone so that an implant can be performed. However, the graft needs time to heal. Often, a bone graft will add several months to the implant process if it's needed.
What Makes Immediate Implants Different?
The main difference between traditional and immediate implants is the length of the post. The post that is sunk into the jawbone for immediate implants is shorter than the traditional post. That can, in some cases, eliminate the need for a bone graft before the implant is accomplished. The shorter post also needs a lot less time to bond with the jawbone. That means the post can be immediately topped with the crown. The appointment can accomplish both the surgical implantation of the post and the crown all at the same time.
This type of implant may not be right for all patients. The implant site still must heal and bond with the jawbone for the tooth to be stable.
Contact your dentist for more information about dental implants.