When someone asks a dentist about implants, one of the most common first questions covers how long the entire process is going to take. As with many things in life, the answer depends on a lot of variables. Take a look at what might influence how quickly you can get dental implants.
For a dentist, this is by far the biggest concern. If someone has highly progressed gum disease, there's also a high risk that any installed dental implants might fall out. You don't want to invest thousands of dollars into a procedure if it has a low probability of success.
This means someone with poor oral health will spend weeks or months working with the practice's hygienist. Fortunately, hygienists and dentists have access to several treatment options that often can restore oral health. It may take several visits to get to that point, but the ideal scenario is that gums will heal to the point they can support dental implants.
Every person's mouth has supporting structures for their teeth. These include bones and ligaments that secure the tooth and provide a degree of flexibility for chewing. The strength and stability of these structures are largely promoted by pressure and friction from the motion of eating.
If there isn't a tooth in the area to exert pressure, the body will slowly reabsorb the structures in a process known as atrophy. Eventually, atrophy can become extensive enough that a person ceases to be a good candidate for implants.
A dentist will want to see X-rays showing there is sufficient bone structure left. These bones act as anchors, and the posts for the dental implants are drilled into them.
Especially when someone has a large number of teeth removed at once, the complexity of both removing teeth and doing implants can make it time-consuming. A dentist will usually want to see your mouth heal after the extractions. They may be able to provide temporary appliances, though.
There is a similar concern about healing when you receive implants. The posts for the dental implants need time for the bone to develop around them and provide a solid base.
You may need additional dental procedures, too. For example, a dentist might decide to use a healthy tooth and an implant post as two anchors for an arch. They will have to prepare the healthy tooth to serve as one end for the arch by reshaping it for a cap.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a local dentist.