How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

While there are dental implants at inspire dental of alexandria treatments that can be completed in a single procedure, these immediate implants may not be an option for everybody. Immediate implants require very specific conditions and clinical needs, and the reality is that they won’t work for many people. When immediate implants can’t be placed, standard implants are highly likely to still be an option, and the timeline for standard implants depends on several factors as well. In order to understand the reasons for these varying timelines and to gauge your own interest in learning more about dental implants, it’s helpful to have some understanding of the ins and outs of the dental implant procedure itself.

Any dental implant treatment begins with an initial consultation. Following your consultation, you’ll meet with your dental implant team for a thorough examination, which will include x-rays and other imaging, and map out your treatment plan based on your clinical needs and personal preferences. If you require a bone graft or sinus surgery before implants can safely be placed, this procedure and its healing time will factor into your treatment plan. One the bone and facial structure are properly prepared, the dental implant surgery takes place. During this implant surgery, the dental implant post is placed into the jaw, in the place where a healthy tooth root once was. Implant surgery is completed while the patient is anesthetized, and the procedure takes about one or two hours for each implant. Once the post is implanted, the dentist will fit the post with a temporary crown to protect the implant site and restore the appearance and integrity of the dentition.

Dental implant posts are made of biocompatible material, usually titanium, that has the natural tendency to attract and encourage the growth of healthy bone tissue. This means that new, healthy bone at the surgical site will grow around the dental implant, creating a permanent, durable foundation as it heals and fuses with the implant. The post-operative healing time for dental implants is crucial to the long-term success of the dental implant. Immediately following the surgery, there may be some mild bruising or swelling, but this should subside after a few days. The healing that’s occurring below the gum line is the more important healing; below the gum line, the bone is integrating with the implant, in a process called osseointegration, which takes time. The amount of time it takes will depend on the number of implants placed and the overall health and healing abilities of the patient. In some cases, osseointegration can occur in as few as six weeks, while in other cases, it can take three months or more.

Your dentist will continue to assess your healing as it progresses, and, when the implant post has completely fused with the bone, they will expose the tip of the implant post and screw on an attachment apparatus called an abutment. The dental crown fits on the abutment, which holds it in place, and together, the implant post and crown create a dental restoration that closely resembles a natural tooth in both form and function. Accounting for ancillary procedures and individual healing tendencies, a dental implant treatment could take anywhere from three months to a year. With the proper care and maintenance, dental implants placed by a qualified oral surgeon can be expected to last 25 years or longer, which makes the time frame for treatment seem like a drop in the bucket when you consider all the benefits of dental implants.

What are Dental Implants?