Dental implants are widely recognised as the superior tooth replacement option for their natural appearance, comfortable function, and ability to prevent secondary dental problems, like bone recession.
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, but if you’re considering opting for this tooth replacement solution, you’re probably wondering, “how long does a dental implant take?” Although the dental implant procedure is relatively quick, the journey from deciding to get dental implants to enjoying a full smile can be lengthy.
This guide informs you on how much time you should expect to spend at each stage of the process of getting dental implants.
The first step to getting dental implants is the initial consultation with your implant dentist. Your dentist should examine your dentition in search of problems that need to be addressed before beginning the dental implant procedure.
Your dentist will also likely take x-rays or a 3D scan of your teeth and jawbone to learn about the bone density and quantity near where the implant will sit. This informs the options available for your dental implant procedure. You and your dentist will discuss your treatment options and the next steps during your consultation.
Once you and your dentist decide on a customised treatment plan, your dentist will be able to answer your question, “how long does a dental implant take.”
Your initial dental consultation will likely take around an hour. When you call to schedule, ask your dentist how much time you’ll need to set aside for your appointment.
Pre-Dental Implant Procedure Exam
You may need to meet with your prosthetist before the dental implant surgery, especially if you are replacing a full arch of missing teeth. During this exam, the dentist gathers information on your teeth so the implant procedure can go smoothly.
This is also a great time to clarify any lingering questions and learn about what you’ll need to do to prepare for the implant procedure. You’ll be able to book an appointment for your dental implant procedure.
Dental Implant Placement
During the implant placement surgery, your dentist will place a biocompatible titanium screw, an artificial tooth root, into your jawbone. This provides the strong foundation the crown will need to remain secure in your mouth.
Your dentist may use local anaesthesia or IV sedation to keep you comfortable during the dental implant procedure. The time necessary to place the dental implants varies based on the technique your dentist chooses to use and the location of the tooth, but generally, the procedure takes about one hour per implant.
You may be surprised at how little discomfort you feel after your dental implant procedure. Your dentist will advise you of the steps you need to take to help your dental implants heal properly and quickly.
The distinguishing characteristic of dental implants is how your jawbone fuses to the implant’s titanium screw, making for a tooth replacement system that mimics the action of a natural tooth root. This process is called osseointegration, and it often takes between three and six months.
You may need to eat only soft foods for the first few weeks after the implant procedure, so your bone can heal around the implant. For the remaining time allotted for osseointegration, you can continue your daily routine as your bones work behind the scenes.
Placing the Abutment
Your dentist may be able to place the abutment on the implant during the implant procedure, in which case you won’t need to allow extra time to this procedure. If not, you’ll need to visit your dentist several months after your implant procedure to have the abutment placed.
The abutment is what connects the titanium implant to your dental crown, the visible part of the tooth replacement system.
It takes about two weeks to heal from the abutment procedure. You may have to wait six weeks before your dentist can attach the crown, as it often takes this long to prepare your custom crown. Your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown until the permanent version is complete.
Attaching the Crown
Finally, it’s time to attach the crown to your dental implant; this step restores your tooth’s appearance and function, and it’s probably what you’ve been most excited about throughout the entire process.
Your dentist makes impressions of your mouth after your gums are fully healed to make custom crowns that fit you perfectly. Depending on your needs, you can place a single crown, a bridge, or even a set of dentures on one or more implants.
Your dentist should check your bite and the appearance of your teeth after placing the crown to avoid long-term misalignment problems. When it all checks out, the dental implant procedure is complete.
So How Long Does a Dental Implant Take?
From start to finish, the dental implant procedure will likely take between three and nine months. The exact duration of the treatment depends on your dental characteristics, including if you’ve suffered from bone recession or gum disease. The implant procedure your dentist uses also impacts the length of time necessary to complete this procedure.
Afterwards, you should visit your dentist for periodic checkups to ensure the implant functions well and stays clean and healthy. Your dentist will often be able to see and troubleshoot any potential problems as they arise if you stick to at least bi-annual dental checkups.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Time?
Dental implants seem like a large time commitment, but many patients find that having healthy and strong dentition for life, following the procedure, is well worth the wait. Dental implant procedures are meant to be completed once to provide life-long benefits, unlike many other tooth-replacement options, which must be replaced periodically.
You can protect your temporal and financial investment by visiting No Gaps Dental, a reputable dental group in Sydney. We’ve served over 200,000 satisfied patients, and we have the experience, training, and facilities to provide you with high-quality implants. Book an appointment today to discuss your tooth replacement options.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.