If you are planning to get dental implants, you may be hearing about osseointegration for the first time. Here are some key things that you should know about this crucial part of the dental implant process for those that are unfamiliar with it.

What Is Osseointegration?

Osseointegration is when the dental implant actually fuses with your jawbone, which makes the dental implant stable and capable of being used to chew food. Without the osseointegration process, the dental implant would be loose and eventually come out of your jaw bone. That's why it's so important that you do what it takes to ensure that osseointegration happens.

What Impacts How Long Osseointegration Takes?

The time it takes for osseointegration to happen really depends on your body and the extent of the surgery that you had. It can take several months for the implant to completely fuse with the jawbone. Some common factors that can play a role in osseointegration are if you had a lot of jaw bone left for the implant to integrate with, your overall health, and if you needed to get a bone graft. Having more of these factors in your favor will result in faster osseointegration.

What If The Implants Are Covered?

Some people have a dental implant placed underneath the gums, which are covered during osseointegration. Ask your dentist if your specific needs dictate that this will be necessary. If it is, then you will need to return to the dentist for a second procedure, where an incision is made into the gums to reveal the titanium post. A healing abutment is then placed on the implant so that you have a circular opening for the final artificial tooth to be placed on the implant

What Can Cause Osseointegration To Fail? 

There are a couple of reasons why osseointegration can fail, and many of them are out of your control. You may not have the implant placed in the correct position and it needs to be adjusted, or the jaw bone may be lacking the density it needs to support the implant. If someone suffers an accident that results in trauma to the face, that can cause osseointegration to fail as well. 

Still have questions about the osseointegration part of dental implant treatment? Make sure to ask your dentist during your next appointment. They'll be able to explain what you can expect related to your specific situation so that you have realistic expectations about how it will go.