Healing and Treatment Care
How long does it take for implants to heal?
Healing times for implants vary depending on the quality of the patient’s bone and are often extended in cases where performing adjunctive procedure is necessary. In general, dental implants require 2 to 4 months for the bone to heal (without being exposed to extra forces from biting). In recent years, research has demonstrated that in certain controlled circumstances, dentist can immediately load implants (connect prosthetic teeth) either the same day or shortly after thy have been placed. While this is becoming increasingly common, most cases require a healing period of 2 to 4 months before the prosthetic restoration can be finalized.
How do I care for my implants?
Oral hygiene. Proper care of your implants is important to their continued function and good health. While they are not subject to cavities as are natural teeth are, they can develop gum inflammation, and even infection around your teeth known as periodontal disease, a similar process can occur around implants and is known as peri-implantitis. Your dentist should review proper techniques for keeping your implants clean and the surrounding tissue healthy- but above all else, routine brushing and flossing is necessary. Your dentist for dental hygienist may also show you other tools that can help keep your teeth and implants clean and healthy.
Dental check-ups. Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure the surrounding gums and bone are maintained and healthy. This also requires periodic x-rays to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. The dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.
It is not uncommon for the screws that attach your restoration to the actual implants or abutments to loosen from time to time. This usually entails simply removing the dental restoration, cleaning it and replacing it with new or re-tightened screws. Similarly, if our dental restoration is cemented to the underlying implant, they may also loosen periodically, if this happened, your dentist will need to remove the restoration, clean it, ensure that it is fitting as designed and re-cement it to the implant. While these are minor complications, however inconvenient, they should not be ignored. Allowing the restoration to remain in place when it is not properly attached to the implant can create more significant problems.