Placing a single dental implant can be done in under an hour, but dental implant surgery is a procedure that will take place over a period of a few months. The exact number of months will depend on your circumstances as a patient and will be determined by the procedures that you need to be done. A consultation at your local dental clinic will help your dentist determine what your dental needs are. Let’s take a closer look at the question of how long do dental implants take, and what you can expect from the dental implant procedure.
What Is A Dental Implant?
Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that replace a missing tooth at the roots. The result of this means no bone loss and a very strong and robust tooth replacement that could last for the rest of your lifetime.
So How Long Do Teeth Implants Take?
The length of time that your dental implant procedure will take will depend on the procedures that you need, and these can only be determined by a treatment plan.
Dental Implant Surgery: What To Expect
Before you can consider dental implants, you need to have a thorough consultation with a dental professional. Your dental practitioner will assess your mouth and teeth, take some digital photographs and some x rays and then present you with a treatment plan, which details the steps that need to be taken to replace your missing tooth, as well as the associated costs.
Because every case is different, no two treatment plans will look the same. Your treatment plan for dental implants may include some of the following steps
If you still have a damaged or diseased tooth in your mouth, it will first need to be extracted and any decay will have to be removed. If you schedule a consultation at your local dental clinic, your practitioner will inform you if any tooth needs to be removed.
If your tooth has been missing for some time it is quite likely that you will have experienced some bone loss under the cavity. Because a dental implant needs to go through the bite and chew force, it needs a strong and solid foundation of bone to support it. If patients do not have enough strong bone to support dental implants, they may need to have a bone graft.
A bone graft can be done on the upper or lower jaw. If you only need a minor bone graft it may be possible to do the graft during the same procedure as the placement of the dental implant. If you need more bone, a separate procedure may be required. After a major bone graft, you would need to go through a waiting period for your own bone to regenerate, before the dental implant could be placed.
Placing the dental implant
Once the tooth has been extracted and any bone grafting has been completed and your dental practitioner is satisfied that you are ready for surgery, it will be time to place the dental implants.
During the procedure, a hole is drilled through the gum and into your jaw bone. The dental implant is put in place and the wound is surgically sealed up.
This part of the procedure may only take an hour, but you will need to go through a waiting period of three to six months for your gum to heal fully and for the dental implant to osseointegrate with your jaw.
Placing the abutment
Once the jawbone has healed and the implant is integrated with your bone, the site needs to be opened up again for your dentist to place the abutment.
The abutment is an extension piece that connects the dental implant to the dental crown.
Once this is done, the wound must be sealed up again. You will go through another healing period to allow your gum and soft tissue the opportunity to recuperate.
Placing the dental crown
Once your gum has healed fully and your dentist is satisfied that the dental implant is secure, you will be able to have your crown fitted. The dental crown must be made to match the size, shape and colour of the other teeth in your mouth.
What Influences The Procedure?
A number of factors can impact how long it takes to complete your dental implant procedure:
- Your body’s ability to heal
- The steps required
- Side effects and complications
- The skill and experience level of your dental practitioner
- The number of implants
- The complexity of your treatment plan
Smoking can interfere with your body’s ability to heal and it is recommended that patients quit smoking prior to a dental implant procedure.
Still have questions about how long do dental implants take? It’s best to speak to an expert dentist that offers consultation: (02) 8203 8760.