One of the most frequently asked questions, about dental implants, is how long it will take for them to heal, so that the artificial teeth they are meant to lay are foundation for can be installed.
In case these matters sound strange, it would be worth recalling that dental implants are the devices that are supposed to serve as ‘roots’ to artificial teeth that people who lose their teeth often have to wear, if they are to attain the quality of life they would have with a complete dental formula (both in terms of aesthetics and practicalities of chewing).
Worth recalling too is the fact that these dental implants are usually used in a bid to give the artificial teeth restorations some life. The implants are usually made of a material (chiefly titanium and its alloys) that has been known to integrate with the body, eventually; so that the body comes to ‘view them’ as being parts of it. When that happens, they can start receiving nutrition and sensation, with which they can then serve the artificial tooth they are meant to support. It is this process of integration, then, that is also termed as ‘healing.’ And it is only when it has fully taken place that the artificial teeth can be installed in the sockets where the dental implants will first have been put in. So between a person seeing their dentist and their having an artificial tooth installed stands this process of dental implant healing. Until it has taken place satisfactorily, the artificial tooth cannot be installed; the fact that the patient has embarked on the process toward their installation notwithstanding.
It with this background information, then, that we can turn back to the question as to how long it would take for a dental implant to heal, making way for the installation of the artificial tooth it is supposed to support.
As it turns out, opinion is divided amongst dental practitioners, as to how long one should let the dental implant to heal, before proceeding to install an artificial tooth. It is not a clear cut matter, especially because there is really nothing that signifies that the healing has actually taken place. Rather, it is usually upon the dentist to recon that the dental implants have healed, before proceeding to install the artificial teeth. What is scary is the fact that if this is done too soon, before the implant has truly healed, there would be a great chance of messing up the whole job. This makes the dentists to prefer to err on the cautious side, so that they had rather wait for too long, rather than install the artificial tooth before the implant has healed properly. Of course, waiting for too long would be doing the patients no favors, seeing that most of them are usually keen on having the dental restorations as soon as possible. Moreover, based on friends’ (or read) experiences, they will tend to come in with a time line they actually want adhered to.
All said and done, a dental implant onto which a restoration is loaded in less than two months would probably be considered as having been loaded prematurely. The minimum healing time, according to many authorities, should be a couple of months. On the other hand, a dental implant that has been in the mouth for six months and has never healed would be considered as having stayed for a bit too long. So many authorities tend to put six months as the maximum period of time it should take for dental implants to heal.
Worth noting, too, is the fact that this healing is not always totally guaranteed. Cases abound of implants that the body simply rejects, and naturally, the question of healing does not arise with these.