Missing teeth can damage your confidence and your oral health. A gap in your smile can allow the surrounding teeth to shift and the opposing teeth to extrude. Single dental implants offer a long-term alternative to a dental bridge or partial denture.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone. The jawbone heals around the screw, creating a strong anchor for a restoration that mimics a real tooth root. A healing abutment is placed on top of the implant, which then supports a dental crown.
The dental implant process takes place over multiple visits. Healing times between visits will vary between patients, so it’s difficult to say how long the process will take. It can take six weeks to six months for your dental implant to heal and be ready to support a crown. In general, it takes between three and nine months to complete this restoration.
Before dental implant work can go ahead, you need to have good oral hygiene and no signs of gingivitis (gum disease). You will also need to have enough bone density to support the implant. A bone graft may be required to help increase bone density. Smoking increases the risk of implant failure, so you will also need to commit to quitting if you are currently a smoker.