How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

The process of receiving a dental implant takes time. It’s no one-day procedure. Instead, the process involves several stages over the course of six months to a year. So, why does the process take so long? And why would this be an attractive option? The short answer is because it takes time for your bone to grow and heal, uniting with the implant surface. But it’s worth the wait because dental implants are the closest thing to a real tooth and a very effective way for replacing missing teeth.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first let’s discuss…what is a dental implant?

What is a dental implant?

By definition, an implant is a surgical component that is placed into the jawbone and under the gums to support a dental prosthesis (like a crown, bridge, or denture). Resembling a wood-working screw, dental implants are most often made of titanium, a metal well-accepted by the body. Once the implant fixture or screw is surgically positioned, it allows your dentist to attach a replacement tooth on top. Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth because they act as a new tooth root and replace our natural teeth.

According to the American Dental Association, “Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. When teeth are lost because of disease or an accident, dental implants may be a good option.” Reasons to consider an implant include:

The Process of Getting a Dental Implant

As mentioned earlier, the process of getting a dental implant is an investment of time. The ADA describes dental implant surgery in roughly four phases:

First: You schedule an initial consultation with your dentist to determine if the implant procedure is right for you. If you are a good candidate for implant surgery, then your dentist will schedule the procedure usually within a few weeks of the initial consultation (depending on your dentist’s schedule). One thing to note, in some cases, patients need pretreatment surgery. The reasons include strengthening the jawbone, removing teeth to make room for the implant, or bone smoothing surgery. These procedures take three months to a year to fully heal from before the implant process can begin.

Second: During your second visit (not including pretreatment surgery for select cases), your dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. This procedure is same-day and you will be sent home to heal.

Third: The bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. This process can take several months before the replacement teeth can be attached to the implant.

Fourth: It’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth (crown, bridge, or denture, for example) on top of the implant. The replacement teeth can take some time to make, therefore your dentist may give you a temporary until the permanent replacement is ready. This process can take an additional one to two weeks.

Again, the timeline for your dental implant depends on your oral health and any pretreatment surgeries necessary. If you are considering the surgery, contact your dentist to schedule an initial consultation. A dental implant is the closest thing to a natural tooth. So, despite the lengthy process, the end result is a natural-looking and functioning smile!