Tooth loss is something that many of us dread, but for a significant proportion, it will become a reality at some point in our lives. Here at CK Dental we touch on what to expect if the very worst happens – a front tooth becomes broken, falls out or has to be removed surgically.
A dental implant is the most common and most suitable fix for a missing front tooth. This is where a new tooth is attached directly into the jaw bone where the missing tooth used to be attached.
Expected lead time
The first thing to say is that there is a period of times that needs to pass between when the original tooth is fully removed/extracted and when the new, artificial tooth will be implanted. This is usually around three months. You won’t be left with a gap, during this time patients are usually given a removable false tooth that will sit in the gap until the implant is ready.
Wearing a false tooth will undoubtedly feel strange to begin with but you will get used to it. Although you may feel self-conscious at first, rest assured it will be more obvious to you than it is to anyone else. It will be designed to fit comfortably between your other teeth and will be made to reflect the shape and colour of your other teeth. You will quickly get used to it and once you do the time will fly by.
The dental implant itself
When the time comes for your implant to be fitted, this is a significant operation and you should give yourself suitable time to recover from the procedure. The operation itself is usually a three-stage process.
- Attach the implant into your jaw bone. This is what the new tooth will be attached too. This is usually a one or two stage process depending on the suitability of the jaw bone for this.
- The implant is then fused with the bone. This is the time-consuming part. It can sometimes take as little as six weeks but sometimes can be as long as six months.
- Finally, the last stage involves designing, making and fixing the new tooth to the implant.
Often a permanent solution
If you treat your dental implant with the care it requires, then there is no reason it should not last as long as your natural teeth. Once it is fitted, it is a long-term fix for a missing tooth. Your dentist will talk to you fully about how to care for your implant and how to ensure its longevity.