Immediate & Conventional Dental Implants Explained

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Conventional Dental Implants

Conventional implants are a tried and true type of implant that is performed in three rounds of treatment over 9-12 months.   This type of implants are performed less frequently in most modern dental clinics, as the amount of time needed to complete treatment is the greatest.  

General amount of time needed

In total, 3 trips are needed over about 9-12 months.  The first two trips requiring about 3-5 days each, and the last requiring about a full week.

This is how they are done:

Step 1:  First, extraction of the tooth is performed and the gums/bone are allowed to heal before the implant is placed.  Usually this takes about 2-6 months before the implants can be placed.  Sometimes, artificial powdered bone material is placed into the empty extraction site to ensure there is enough bone to support the implant.  This is called a minor bone graft or a socket graft.  If the tooth was knocked out, or is already missing, you still need to wait 2-6 months from the time it was lost to have implants placed.  Extractions, and socket grafts if required are typically done in one appointment.

Step 2: After the bone and gums heal, the extraction site is reopened and the dental implant can be placed.  The implant is screwed into the jawbone itself and the gums are then sealed over the implant.  Your jawbone will actually grow around the implant in a process called osseointegration and this needs to occur before the abutment and permanent crown is fitted.  Usually it takes about 3-6 months for the implant to osseointegrate with your jawbone before it is stable enough to support the abutment and crown.  Implants can be placed in just one appointment, but follow ups for suture removal, check-ups, etc. are required.

Step 3: After the implants are stable, you would return to have the abutment and crown fitted.  During this visit, the gums are opened up, the abutments are attached to the implants, and then impressions are taken of the abutments and surrounding teeth in order to send off the dental laboratory where the crowns are crafted.  It is important that good impression are taken so that when the crowns are fitted, they fit properly, align and match the bite of your other teeth, and have a proper minimal margin at the gumline for best appearance.  It takes a few days for the lab to make the crowns, and the whole process usually takes about a week.

Immediate Placement Dental Implants

Immediate placement implants are safe, effective, and are the most common type of implant used by modern dental clinics and implant specialists.   They are indicated for use in the majority of implant cases, but not for every case.  Immediate placement refers to  the fact that these implants are placed immediately following extraction of the existing teeth, and often at the same time as a socket graft of sinus lift.  This allows for the amount of time required to finish the treatment to be reduced by 2-6 months when compared to conventional implants.

General amount of time needed

In total, 2 trips are needed over about 4-6 months.  The first trip usually requires about 3-5 days, and the second trip usually requires about a full week.

This is how they are done:

Step 1:  Extraction of the tooth is performed and the implant is placed all in one visit.  Sometimes, artificial powdered bone material is placed into the empty extraction site to ensure there is enough bone to support the implant.  This is called a minor bone graft or a socket graft.   If there is not enough bone in the upper jaw molar or premolar implant to be placed, bone material is placed in the extraction site and the sinus membrane moved upwards.   This is called a sinus lift.   In most cases extractions placement of implants and a socket graft or sinus lift can be done in one appointment.   If major bone grafts (block grafts) are required, it can entail an extra trip before the implants can be placed.  This can be determined by looking at a panoramic x-ray or CT scan.

After the implant is screwed into the jawbone, the gums are then sealed over the implant.   It  then takes about 3-6 months for the implant to osseointegrate with your jawbone before it is stable enough to support the abutment and crown.   The implant placement can take place in just one appointment, but an initial consultation and diagnosis visit, follow up for suture removal, and post operative check-up visits are also required.

Step 2:  After the implants are stable, you would return to have the abutment and crown fitted.  During this visit, the gums are opened up, the abutments are attached to the implants, and then impressions are taken of the abutments and surrounding teeth in order to send off the dental laboratory where the crowns are crafted.  It is important that good impression are taken so that when the crowns are fitted, they fit properly, align and match the bite of your other teeth, and have a proper minimal margin at the gumline for best appearance.  It takes a few days for the lab to make the crowns, and the whole process usually takes about 3 appointments over the course of a full week.

Immediate Loading Dental Implants

Immediate loading implants are specially designed implants that can have the permanent abutment & crown fitted soon after implant placement.  This means your new teeth can be completed in just one trip.  Contrary to common conception, “immediate” implants are not typically attached to the implant the same day the implant is surgically placed. 

General amount of time needed

Immediate loading implants can be placed, and the permanent crowns fitted in just one trip.  Depending on the type of system used, a stay of one week up to two months is needed.   A stay of two weeks is an average estimate of time required.

What you should know about immediate loading implants:

  • The majority of patients are NOT candidates for immediate loading implants
  • Ideal bone structure, excellent periodontal (gum) condition and overall good health are required to be a candidate for these implants
  • Not all implants can be immediately loaded.
  • Ask your dentist which brand & type of implant they plan to use for your immediate loading procedure, some examples are: Straumann SLActive & Nobel Active
  • Immediate loading implants are safe, effective, and have the same success rate as other dental implants
  • Be sure to select a clinic that has extensive experience using these implants
  • “Mini” implants are NOT immediate loading implants, and should only be used for temporary restorations or to provide stability to a denture
  • If you want evaluation of your candidacy for immediate loading implants, please send a copy of a recent x-ray along with a description of your dental needs to info@dentaldepartures.com

 

*Each implant case can vary dramatically. Additionally, different dentists follow different protocols depending on their experience, education, and the implant system/materials they offer. The above information is for educational purposes only, and should not be used for, or considered as actual medical advice as pertains to your own dental case and condition.

Rossarin Phinyowan

My passion is travel and researching my next destination. I am a medical/travel writer and currently write content for Dental and Medical Departures.
To get in touch with this author, or for more info regarding this article, please contact us at author@dentaldepartures.com

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This article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to be dental advice or instructions for dental diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your dentist or a qualified dental professional before starting or changing dental treatment
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