The length of time a dental implant procedure takes depends on a few variables. Your body’s rate of healing plays a big role, and each patient is different. The duration of your implant procedure also depends on the mini procedures you need and, again, each patient may need a slightly different combination of stages in order to replace a missing tooth. If you get a consultation at your local dental clinic, you will be presented with a treatment plan and timeline that details how long your treatment will take. Let’s take a closer look at the question ‘how long does a dental implant procedure take’ and what you might expect.
Understanding Dental Implants
Most patients don’t realise that dental implants are made up of different components. Each component needs to be placed in a separate mini procedure, one step at a time. Because implants are done in a surgical procedure, your body needs a chance to heal and recover between each. The length of time it takes is variable.
The placement of the small screw or anchor is actually quite quick. It could take an hour in the chair to place one dental implant, but the dental implant procedure is much more than the placement of one titanium screw.
How Long Does Dental Implant Procedure Take: The Timeline
If you still have the damaged or decayed tooth in your mouth, it will need to be extracted before an implant can be placed. If there is an infection, this will also need to be treated first. Generally, most patients will need to wait two to three months after a tooth extraction before dental implants can be surgically placed.
It’s important to note that not everyone needs a bone graft, but if your tooth has been missing for a while there’s a good chance you will need a graft. This is because the absence of tooth roots causes bone loss in the underlying jaw. If your jaw bone is too thin but you meet all the other criteria for an implant, your dentist will recommend a bone graft. While it is sometimes possible to embed the implant after a minor graft, in the event that you need a major graft, you might need to wait three to four months for your jaw bone to grow.
Placing dental implants
In order for a dental implant to be strong and robust, it must integrate with your jaw bone. That means the jaw must grow around it and incorporate it into its structure. And, of course, this takes time. For the majority of patients, this can take around three months to occur, but in some cases, it may take a little longer.
The abutment is an extension piece that connects the titanium screw to your dental crown.
In order to attach it, your dentist must reopen the surgical site and then close it up again.
For most patients, healing after the abutment can take an additional four to six weeks to complete.
Finishing off with a dental crown
The final stage of the dental implant procedure is placing the dental crown. In most cases, this is done four to six months after dental implants are placed. Your dental practitioner needs to make sure that the implant has completely fused with the jaw in order for it to withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
How Long Will Your Dental Implant Process Take?
Because each patient is different, the only way to get an accurate understanding of how long your implant treatment plan will take is to speak to a dentist that offers consultation. The procedure can take anywhere from three months to over a year and it really depends on how quickly you heal, how well you follow post-operative care instructions, and how many mini procedures are required.
While there may be faster tooth replacement solutions available, none of the alternatives will last as long as a dental implant. Taking a bit more time to complete the procedure will result in a longer-lasting restoration.
You may be able to meet your treatment milestones by practising excellent dental hygiene, not smoking, and making sure you follow a nutritious diet, which will promote healing. Working with a skilled and experienced dental practitioner who follows your treatment plan will give you a realistic expectation of the surgery and what it entails.
For more info on how long does dental implant procedure take or to book a dental consultation near you, please give us a call: (02) 9158 6379.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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