Dental implant surgery is a process that is made up of a couple of mini procedures. It requires a few visits to your dentist and will be planned by your dental practitioner. Having a dental implant procedure is a protracted process that requires healing and waiting, but the end result is definitely worth it. Let’s try to answer ‘how long do dental implants take’.
The Benefits Of Dental Implants
Dental implants have a high success rate of between 95 and 98%, making them a predictable way to replace missing teeth. Implants replace tooth roots, which means that you should not experience bone loss, unlike other tooth replacement approaches.
They do not do damage to adjacent teeth like fixed dental bridges and do not need to be removed like dentures.
How Long Do Dental Implants Take?
To find out exactly how long dental implants take, you need to understand the dental implant procedure and the steps that are required to complete it.
How The Dental Implant Procedure Works
Your Dental Consultation
Before your dentist can make any recommendations for tooth replacement, your mouth and teeth need to be evaluated. Your dentist will check the condition of your remaining teeth and your gum health. He or she will take some x-rays and digital photographs and then present you with a treatment plan, timeline and costing of all the options available to you. Dental implant surgery may be one of a couple of options.
What Influences The Timeline Of Your Dental Implant Procedure?
The length of time it takes to complete your dental implant will depend on the procedures that apply to you.
Do You Need Tooth Extractions?
Before you go ahead with the dental implant procedure your dentist may identify that you need one or more teeth extracted. If this is the case, you will need to heal after the extractions before an implant can be placed.
Do You Need A Bone Graft Or Sinus Lift?
If you do not have thick enough jaw bone, you will need a bone graft to thicken your jaw and support your dental implants. If you need a bone graft you can add four to 12 months onto your dental implant surgery timeline.
Placing Your Dental Implants
Placing a single dental implant is a relatively quick procedure in itself, and it usually only takes an hour or two to complete. However, once this is done, your incision site must heal and your jaw bone must grow around the implant to integrate it. This process is called osseointegration and it’s an essential part of what makes the implant so strong and robust when you bite and chew.
Osseointegration takes between three and six months of healing on your dental implant surgery timeline.
Attaching The Abutment
The abutment is an extension piece that connects your implant to the dental crown.
In order to access your implant, your dentist must reopen the surgical site.
Afterwards, your gums need to heal again.
This part of the dental implant procedure adds two to six weeks to your timeline.
Creating Your Dental Crown
While you are waiting for healing to take place, you’ll return to your dentist’s practice to have your dental crown made. The dental crown will be matched to the size, shape and colour of your natural teeth so it blends in nicely.
This part of the dental implant procedure can add up to six weeks to your dental implant timeline.
So How Long Do Dental Implants Take?
Your dentist will confirm your timeline for dental implants once you have been assessed and all the procedures you need are documented. Of course, each procedure is subject to your rate of healing and could take a bit more or a bit less time.
On average, most patients can expect a period of 12 to 18 months to finalise dental implants, from start to finish.
You can do your part to speed up healing by
- Following your dentist’s post-surgical instructions carefully
- Keeping yourself as fit and healthy as possible
- Eating a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and macronutrients
- Cutting back or eliminating alcohol
- Quitting smoking, as it can interfere with your body’s healing ability and many dentists will not perform implant surgery on patients who smoke
- Maintaining excellent oral health and visiting your dentist for all appointments and checkups.
For a more personal answer to the question of ‘how long do dental implants take’, you must consult with a dentist so you can plan adequately? Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 9158 6379.
Dental implant procedure