Having dental implants provides you with a permanent tooth replacement solution that is unrivalled. Before you commit however it is important to understand how long does a dental implant take, because sometimes patients have an unrealistic expectation of the time frame. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from a dental implant procedure.
Understanding A Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants is a series of mini procedures that will be completed over a period of time. The actual dental implants procedures that are performed will depend on your personal dental situation and what you need done. For example some patients may begin the process by having a decayed tooth extracted by their dentist. Others may start off with a bone graft. Others still may have the dental implants placed first. The first, and subsequent steps of your procedure will depend entirely on what you need.
So it makes sense that the best point of departure is to have a thorough assessment by your dental practitioner. During the assessment he will have a look at the condition of your teeth and soft tissue to ensure your mouth is free of gum disease. You will have a full medical and dental history taken to establish what chronic conditions you may have and whether you suffer from anything that compromises your body’s ability to heal itself. Your dentist will take digital photographs and x-rays. Once all of this is completed you will be presented with a treatment plan, approximate cost and timeline for your procedures.
What Stages Could Be Detailed In Your Dental Implant Procedure?
Time required: immediate to a few months
In patients who have been missing teeth for a long period of time it is quite common for bone loss to have occurred, as the tooth roots no longer stimulate the jaw bone at the site. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend a minor or major bone graft.
The purpose of the bone graft is to stimulate the growth of new bone, to make your jaw bone thicker and strong enough to support dental implants.
If you have a minor graft it may be possible to do it just before placing the dental implant. If you have lost a considerable amount of bone you may need to have the graft done and wait a few months for new bone to regenerate before moving forward.
Placing The Dental Implant
Time required: one to two hours for the dental implant procedure
Three to nine months for osseo-integration
Once the decayed tooth has been removed and the bone graft has been done, your dentist will place the dental implants. This procedure may only take an hour or two, if you are having more than one dental implant placed or if your procedure is complex. The actual time spent in the chair is not very long at all. But for a true answer to the question of ‘how long does a dental implant take’, it’s important to note that you need to undergo a period of healing and fusion, whereby the implant fuses with your jaw bone. This can take anywhere from three to nine months to occur, and it depends largely on your ability to heal. This is beyond your control and everyone is different.
What is most important is that you wait until the process is complete, in order to create a strong foundation for the abutment and dental crown.
Placing The Abutment
Time required: three to six months for healing
Once the dental implants have integrated with your jaw bone, your dentist will be able to attach the abutment. This is the extension piece that connects dental implants to the dental crown. In order to do this the surgical site needs to be opened up again, which means another period of healing must be undergone before you can progress.
Placing The Dental Crown
Time required: an hour
Once your jaw has healed again, it is time to have your crown fitted. Your dentist will match the crown to suit the size, shape and colour of your other teeth.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Dental Implant Procedure?
It will probably only take a few days to a week for your soft tissue to heal and feel better after your dental implants procedures but complete healing from each surgical procedure is likely to take a good few months.
Still have questions about “how long does a dental implant take”? It’s time to speak to a professional: (03) 8737 9359.