Dental implants are an advanced type of treatment for patients with missing teeth. Whether you were born with missing teeth or lost them because of an injury or infection, dental implant surgery is an effective and advantageous oral treatment for many adults who want natural-looking teeth.
If you’re considering a dental implant procedure but questioning how long does dental implant surgery take, here’s what you need to know about the process from start to finish.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a realistic tooth replacement option for those missing one or more teeth. For individuals with healthy gums and bones, dental implants serve as replacement tooth roots, providing a sturdy foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth.
Whether you’re missing one tooth or an entire row of teeth, undergoing dental implant surgery offers a host of benefits. Some advantages of a dental implant procedure include:
Enhanced Appearance and Confidence
People who opt for a dental implant procedure look and feel great about themselves. Because dental implants appear and act like natural teeth and are built to last, they can help enhance your smile and leave you looking and feeling great and more confident.
Better Oral Health
If left untreated, the spaces left behind by lost teeth can cause more serious oral health issues like bone loss. Dental implants can help prevent your jawbone from deteriorating and even stimulate bone growth. Plus, because dental implant surgery doesn’t affect neighbouring teeth and allows you to keep your natural teeth intact, it can help improve your long-term oral health. Dental implants can also make it easier to get between teeth and improve your overall oral hygiene to maintain healthy gums, teeth, and bones.
When you’re missing one or more teeth or using removable dentures, eating can be a challenge. Because dental implants function as normal teeth, you can eat your favourite foods with increased confidence and no discomfort.
Another benefit of undergoing a dental implant procedure is the improved speech that can come with implants. Unlike ill-fitting dentures, dental implants are secure and won’t slip while you speak.
How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?
Dental implant surgery can vary in length depending on how many teeth you are missing, whether you need additional teeth extracted, whether you require bone grafting, and other factors relating to your oral health. The entire process generally takes a few months and can take almost up to a year if you require additional extractions and bone grafting.
Before you can begin a dental implant procedure, your dentist at MyHM Dentist performs an oral exam to assess the health of your gums and bones. To be eligible for dental implant surgery, you must have high enough bone density, be free of gum disease, and meet other criteria. Without healthy gums and bones, dental implants will not be successful. The same is true if you smoke or use tobacco, as these activities can hinder the healing process.
Once your dentist has determined you’re a suitable candidate for dental implant surgery, they’ll take scans and x-rays of your teeth and bone structure to develop the perfect dental implant for you. At MyHM Dentist, we offer some of the best quality brands.
Sometimes patients may require additional tooth extractions before the implants can be placed. In this case, the extraction may be performed before your scheduled surgery or done during the same session that your implant is inserted.
Once you’re scheduled for your dental implant surgery, your dentist uses local anaesthetic or dental sedation to ensure your comfort during every step of the procedure. From there, they will perform the insertion of the dental implant either directly into your jawbone or under the gumline. When you have a strong, thick jawbone, you likely won’t need bone grafting.
However, if your jaw requires extra bone, you may first have to undergo a bone graft, which requires additional healing time before your implants can be placed. Once the implant is added to your jawbone, the bone will begin growing around the implant and naturally become a part of your gum line. While the length of this process varies by patient, the time it takes for your implant to become secured to your bone typically takes between three and nine months.
The next step in your dental implant surgery is to place the abutment. This is done after the implant is stable and involves connecting the implant to a crown. In some cases, the abutment may be placed at the same time as the implant. Again, your dentist uses a local anaesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Once your gums have healed, your dentist will make your artificial teeth or crowns and affix them.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If you’re considering dental implants and want to know more about how long the procedure may take, MyHM Dentist can walk you through the process. Make an appointment online today by calling us on (02) 9158 6379 to learn how dental implants can benefit you.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.