Have you struggled with the condition of your upper teeth and considered getting a full denture plate to replace them? If you are eager to have them extracted to ease your discomfort, but reluctant to deal with the adhesive and the potential instability of a removable plate, you should talk with your dentist about the benefits of a complete upper dental implant to provide you with a full set of fixed upper teeth. Here's a look at what you should know about this long-lasting alternative.
How Long Does it Take?
The process of inserting full dental implants in your upper jaw can take as little as a few weeks in some cases, and possibly as long as a few months. One of the biggest contributing factors to the timeframe is how much bone you have left in your jaw.
If you have limited bone density, you'll need a bone graft to successfully place the implants. You'll have to heal completely after the bone graft before the implants can be placed. This will lengthen the process. If you have sufficient bone in your jaw already, your dentist can typically proceed through the process in a matter of weeks, having you back to a normal routine much quicker.
What is the Process?
Understanding the implant process can help you to make a thoroughly informed decision about whether or not it is right for you. Additionally, knowing what's ahead can help you to prepare for your procedure more effectively. The following steps are standard procedure for most full upper implants.
During the first appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon, he or she will evaluate your current dental history. You may have to have a full set of 3D X-rays taken to fully evaluate your jaw. Most dentists will also take a full mold of your mouth to help assess your bone condition and create proper implants.
This is the follow-up appointment. Once your dentist has evaluated the x-rays and your records to determine what your treatment options are, you'll meet to discuss the choices, such as whether or not you'll need a bone graft. You'll also find out what the anticipated timeline is for the procedure and your recovery.
Once you have fully evaluated your options and decided on your treatment path, the next step is to start the surgery. You'll have your existing teeth extracted, and then your oral surgeon will follow up with any necessary bone grafts.
Additionally, the implant posts will be placed in the bone. If you've had bone grafts, this will occur after the grafts have healed. Between these appointments and the placement of the teeth, you may need to visit your dentist for a few measurements. In most cases, your dentist will fit you with temporary dentures for the interim period for your convenience.
Final Molds and Implantation
Once the extractions and bone grafts are complete, you'll have to wait for the swelling to subside and your gums to return to their normal shape before you can attach the permanent teeth. Your dentist will work with you to create a digital rendering to help you determine the shape and dimension that you want from your new teeth. Then, the permanent teeth will be created.
Delivery of your permanent teeth is the final stage of the process. You can expect this final appointment to take a couple of hours. The process will include not only placing your new teeth, but making sure that your bite is properly balanced. Expect a set of post-implant x-rays to be taken as well. Then, your dentist will show you how to care for your implants.
This is the core process that you can expect from a dental implant procedure. Although these are the typical standards, each procedure is unique in the fact that each patient's case can vary based on bone condition and overall dental health. Talk to your dentist about your options if you feel that implants may be right for you.