When to have Denture Stabilisation

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Artificial or prosthetic teeth can make a huge difference to people who have lost some of their natural teeth. Particularly in cases where are a dramatic number of teeth have been lost, the use of artificial teeth can restore a great deal of function and a person’s quality of life. Dentures and bridges are effective prosthetics, but their functionality, durability, and comfort is vastly improved through the use of dental implants, specially designed titanium insertions which mimic the workings of the natural roots of our teeth. Implants stabilise artificial teeth to achieve the many benefits offered by the procedure, in this article we look at how long it takes after the implant surgery before implants can be used for this vitally important stabilising effect.

Using implants after the recovery period

Placing dental implants is an elaborate procedure which requires a great deal of preparation. Implants are placed within the jawbone to provide as much stability as possible to any artificial teeth affixed to them. For each implant to be placed, a surgical incision needs to be made into the gums to grant access to the bone beneath. Once this has been achieved, a specialised drill is used to create a socket into which an implant is placed. The gum is then sealed up using sutures, and the process is repeated for each implant, as many as 10 in some cases on a single jaw. The number of implants actually needed varies depending on the type of implants being used. All-on-4s for example, only require four insertions, while others need as many as 10.

After the surgery itself has been completed, the gum needs to heal over completely before any further work can be done. Moreover it is vitally important that the implant itself undergoes a process called osseointegration, which simply means that the titanium of the implant slowly fuses to the jawbone, providing an extremely strong and efficient base that closely resembles the roots found underlying our natural teeth.

It is important that the gum heals completely, and that an implant fuses with the bone, before a denture or crown can be fitted on to the implant. This stage is key to the long term success of the procedure, so your dentist will recommend a number of follow up visits as you are healing to determine how quickly the rest of the process can be completed. Everyone’s healing time will vary, and for some it can take as little as a few weeks for the site to heal enough, while for others it can take as long as 6 months.

Once the site has healed to your dentist’s satisfaction, temporary dentures or crowns will be fitted to the implant. This is an important stage that allows the gums and jaw to adapt to the presence of your prosthetics, and temporary dentures are often made out of a lightweight material like acrylic to minimise the weight the implant must bear. After a further six weeks, your dentist will probably assess your mouth again, and if all has gone according to plan, you permanent fixtures can be placed onto your implants.

This may seem like an extremely long time in which to achieve your goals, but it is important that each implant site heals fully and the implant becomes properly integrated into the jawbone. These measures are an essential part of what makes dental implants so effective at stabilising artificial teeth, and rushing the process will only interfere with the long term success of an implant procedure.

To ensure that you recover as quickly as possible, and therefore have access to the benefits of your implants as soon as can be, you should closely follow your dentist’s instructions with regards to how to care for your mouth as it recovers. These instructions will usually encompass good oral hygiene practices, and can encourage recovery and ensure that your mouth heals over more quickly and more effectively in the long run.

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