The dental implant procedure
If you’ve been researching dental implants and how long they take, then you probably know that the treatment involves multiple steps or phase, with much of the time spent waiting between each step for the body to heal. Every case is different, so it’s hard to put an exact figure on how long a dental implant will take from start to finish. Let’s take a look at the steps involved to understand the timeframe better.
Aside from the initial consultation to discuss whether dental implants are a suitable treatment for you, the first time you step into our clinic for treatment is to undergo a thorough oral examination. You can expect to have several x-rays and a 3D scan which helps our dentist get a clearer picture of your situation to plan your treatment.
Dental implants replace the entire tooth and root, and, like a natural tooth, they rely on dense, healthy bone in the jaw to hold them securely in place. Should a patient not have sufficient bone, it doesn’t mean they are excluded from getting a dental implant. Instead, they may require a bone augmentation or sinus graft before they can proceed with the treatment. Because a bone graft is a surgical procedure, a patient will have to wait for their mouth to heal and new bone to grow before going ahead with implant treatment. So, in answer to how long does it take to get a dental implant, this depends on whether you will need a bone graft.
Surgery procedure of dental implant
Assuming you don’t require a sinus graft or bone augmentation before our dentist can fit your implants, the next phase is to install the titanium implant posts into the jawbone. For standard implants, surgery can take as long as one to two hours per implant.
The good news is that here at DDSS/DDII, we deliver the most advanced and innovative digital implant techniques. Computer-guided flapless surgery provides a more comfortable, faster, and accurate surgery and improved implant stability. In many cases, a single dental implant may take under twenty minutes to place into the jawbone. With no sutures and shorter chair time, patients typically heal faster. Depending on its location in the mouth, the dentist may place a temporary crown.
Recovery timeline plan
While we call this stage of the dental implants procedure recovery time, it doesn’t refer to recovering from a surgical procedure per se. While patients may experience some bruising and swelling, this step is more about how long it takes for a crucial aspect of the dental implant procedure – bone fusion.
Technically referred to as osseointegration, this natural procedure happens gradually as the bone tissue and the titanium implant fuse together. Once this process has occurred, the implant becomes a super-strong platform that can support a prosthetic tooth or dental crown. In terms of timeframe, it all depends on the individual’s capacity to heal. In some people, osseointegration may occur within 4 to 6 weeks, whereas others can take as long as 12 weeks.
Fitting the abutment
Once the dentist is satisfied that the bone and implant have fused successfully, the next step is for another short surgery to fit the abutment. The abutment is a peg-shaped component that connects the dental implant to the porcelain crown, acting as a shock absorber. The surgery is short and involves uncovering the gum to expose the implant. Once the dentist has fitted the abutment, the gums are closed and once more, time is needed for the gums to heal. Sometimes, the dentist may attach the abutment during the implant surgery, shortening the implant procedure by a couple of weeks.
Fitting the crown
Finally, it’s time to fit the permanent crown to your dental implant. There are two methods of doing this. The dentist can use a small screw to enter the top of the porcelain crown into the abutment or attach the crown to the abutment with dental cement.
Which method the dentist uses depends on the location of the dental implants in the mouth. Because of the hole in the top of the crown, screw-retained implants are more suited to less visible molars.
So how long does it take to get a dental implant?
From the initial consultation to the medical examination and surgery and into fitting the abutment and eventually the crown, you can be talking anywhere between three and nine months.
That said, it depends on the individual circumstances and how long a person takes to heal. If a patient requires bone augmentation or a sinus graft, this must be completed before proceeding with a dental implant. This can add another 4 to 8 weeks to the length of the implant procedure, allowing for recovery time.
If you’d like to know more about dental implants in Sydney and whether they’re a suitable treatment for you, why not book a free implant consultation with the experienced, friendly dental team at DDSS/DDII.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.