If you’ve done some research into dental implants, you’ve probably read that the process can take months. You might also have read that during this time, you might have dental implants in your jaw but no crown or bridge. The prospect of spending months with a big gap in your smile can make dental implants seem less appealing.
Good news: this old-fashioned approach to dental implants is getting less and less common. The new approach, used by Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Rod Strober, means that most people can get their replacement teeth right away. The science suggests that this doesn’t just give faster results; it can also give better results, especially when used with an approach like All-On-X implant dentures.
The Structure of Dental Implants
Knowing the structure of dental implants can help you understand why a dentist might wait months before giving you replacement teeth. A dental implant is made up of at least two parts: the implant and the restoration.
The implant is the artificial tooth root that bonds with the jawbone. The restoration is the visible part of the implant, a dental crown or bridge (denture) that does the chewing and gives you a bright, beautiful smile. Usually, there is also a connection piece between the implant and restoration, called an abutment.
Two Approaches to Dental Implants
There are two main approaches to the dental implant process. These approaches differ in restoring dental implants (placing the crown on them). In the traditional approach, your dental implant is placed in the jawbone, then allowed to heal for several months before the dental crown is placed on top. This is intended to allow the implant to fully integrate with your jawbone before it is subjected to the forces of biting and chewing.
In the other approach, called immediate loading–often marketed under names like teeth in a day or teeth by tonight–your dental implants are immediately topped with a dental crown so that they can be used for chewing and subjected to bite force right away. Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober prefers this approach and uses it very successfully with the All-On-X implant system.