Having dental implants is a permanent and predictable way to replace missing teeth, but it is a process that can take some time. The length of time it takes really depends on the complexity of your dental issues and your personal timeline can only be confirmed by your dentist once you have had a consultation. That said, it’s worth getting an idea of what to expect before you make a commitment. Let’s take a look at the dental implant process timeline and how long your procedure might take.
Understanding The Dental Implant Process
Dental implants are different to other tooth replacements because they actually fuse with your body to become part of it. Dental bridges and dentures also replace teeth, but they only do so below your gumline. In order to replace tooth roots, a dental implant needs to be placed surgically and then fuse with your jaw bone before it can withstand the force of biting and chewing.
The Dental Implant Process Timeline: What To Expect
The Dental Implant Process Starts With A Consultation
Before your dentist can make any recommendations, he or she needs to examine your mouth and teeth. This will include a visual examination as well as more detailed methods like x-rays and digital photographs. On the basis of the examination, your dental practitioner will prepare a treatment plan and cost estimate as well as a timeline. Your dental implant process timeline will depend on the mini procedures that you need for dental implants.
The Dental Implant Process: Step By Step
If you need any teeth to be extracted, this has to be done first. Once any necessary teeth have been extracted, your gums will need to heal before your dentist can place dental implants.
While bone grafting is something that many patients worry about, it is generally only required in cases where teeth have been missing for some time, or the patient has a thin jaw. Dental implants need a certain amount of thick and stable jaw for them to be retained and if yours is not adequate, a bone graft will be required.
Effect on the timeline: Bone grafts usually need four to 12 months of healing before you can move forward with the dental implant process. You will need to make a few visits to your dentist during this period to make sure that you are healing well.
Placing The Dental Implant
The dental implant is a small anchor or screw that must be embedded surgically in your jaw.
This process is done under an anaesthetic so you shouldn’t feel any pain. While it will probably only take an hour or two to place the implant, it will take some time for the wound to heal. After this, your jaw needs to integrate the implant and grow bone around it. This process is called osseointegration and can take three to six months to complete, depending on your rate of healing.
Effect on the timeline: It takes approximately three to seven days for the surgical site to heal, and another three to six months for osseointegration.
Placing The Abutment
If your abutment wasn’t placed at the same time as the dental implant, you will return for another procedure. Your dentist will reopen the surgical site to attach the abutment, which is an extension piece between the dental implant and dental crown.
Effect on the timeline: Recovery from this procedure can take two to six weeks. You will wear a temporary crown while you recover.
Placing Your Dental Crown
Once the healing process is complete it will be time to create your dental crown, which is based on an impression that your dentist takes of your mouth. When the crowns are ready they will be attached with dental cement. This could take two sessions if you have had more than one implant.
Are Dental Implants Worth The Wait?
Certainly, if you want an overnight solution to replace missing teeth then dental implants might not be the solution for you. However, if you want a tooth replacement that is permanent and which allows you to bite and chew with the same force as you exert with your natural teeth, dental implants are the longest lasting and most practical option available. The dental implant process might be protracted, but it’s for your safety and to ensure an end result that could last for decades.
For customised feedback on the dental implant process timeline for your tooth replacement, you must have a consultation with a professional. Please contact us: (02) 8203 8760.
Dental implant procedure