Osseointegration and Recovery
Over the next three to six months, a process known as osseointegration will occur. During this time, the titanium posts will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue to essentially become part of your body. Osseointegration creates a solid foundation for your implant-supported restoration. As you heal, you will attend periodic appointments so your dentist can monitor your progress. Once the recovery period is complete, the doctor will schedule a second surgery to place your abutments.
Abutments are small connector pieces which attach your implant posts to your restoration. During this minor surgery, your dentist will reopen the soft tissue to expose the top of the implants and attach the abutments. For most patients, it takes about two weeks for the gums to heal, after which time you can proceed with the next stage of treatment.
Designing and Placing Your Restoration
Your dentist will take impressions of your implants, gums, and surrounding teeth to design your custom dental crown, bridge, or denture. The fabrication of your restoration can take two to three weeks, depending on the size of the prosthetic. Again, your dentist may provide you with a temporary restoration to wear during this time. When your restoration is complete, your dentist can make any final adjustments before affixing your appliance to the implant posts for a fully restored smile.
While receiving dental implants involves a significant investment and lengthy treatment timeline, an implant-supported restoration can offer long-lasting aesthetic and oral health benefits. With proper care, your implants can provide a lifetime of support for your restoration.