Typically lasting three to nine months, the dental implant procedure isn’t short. However, and at the end of the process you’ll have a prosthetic tooth or teeth that look and operate just like the real thing.

First: Your dentist will remove your damaged teeth

To ensure quick healing, reduce complications, and speed up the process, you’ll need to follow your dentist’s recommendations regarding controlling bleeding, smoking, drinking and brushing.

Second: Your dentist will test your jawbone

Your dentist will need to test your jawbone to ensure that it is hard and thick enough to receive the implant and withstand the additional pressure that biting down on the implant will cause. If your jawbone is not strong enough, your dentist might require you to undergo bone grafting before the implant is placed.

Third: You’ll have your first surgery

The first surgery  consists of the implant being placed into your jawbone. After the surgery is complete, you’ll need to wait until the implant and jawbone unite, a process called osseointegration, before you have your next surgery.

Fourth:  You’ll have your final surgery

It is possible that you might need two surgeries, one to place the abutment, where the prosthetic tooth sits, and another to place the tooth itself. Some dentists place the abutment when they insert the implant. Others wait because the toothless abutment can appear unattractive.

Finally, once your surgery is complete, you’ll monitor your side effects (such as swelling) to ensure they don’t get worse. If they do get worse, you’ll need to schedule a follow-up appointment to check for signs of infection. You may also have to avoid solid foods while you recover. Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions your dentist gives you.

The dental implant procedure is time consuming, and portions of it can be uncomfortable. However, when it’s over, you’ll have solid, sturdy, and attractive teeth that typically last a lifetime. If you take good care of your implants, you’ll most likely never have to worry about replacing or repairing them.