If you've had dental implants placed, you may have heard the term ™osseointegration.™ If you haven't, the word may sound like nonsense to you. However, osseointegration is a vital part of the implant process, and it's important that you understand it and how it works so you know what's going on in your mouth.
It's a Natural Process
Your body begins the process of osseointegration when we place the implant posts in your mouth. The body then begins assimilating those implant posts, making them a part of your jawbone. The word osseointegration reflects this process. It comes from Latin and Greek words that, when taken together, can be translated as ™to make the bone whole.™
While osseointegration in the dental sense generally means the body makes your implants a permanent addition to the jaw, it's actually the same process the body uses to repair bone fractures and to accept joint replacements and other artificial additions to your body.
How It Works with Dental Implants
To the naked eye, the titanium post used to hold the implant in place is smooth and solid. However, it actually has microscopic holes throughout the post. These holes allow the body to grow the bone and other connective tissues into the implant, securing it in place. It literally becomes a part of the jawbone once this process is completed.
Osseointegration can take anywhere from three to six months to be complete. There's no way to speed up the process or tell exactly how long it will take. Everyone's body is slightly different, so it could take you more or less time than it takes someone else. In most cases, the crown and the dental abutment won't be placed until the rod has been fully integrated into the jawbone simply to make certain it won't be dislodged or damaged.
If you're interested in learning more about dental implants and the osseointegration process, give us a call today.