28 Oct The Dental Implant Process: A Quick Timeline
Getting dental implants can take as long as two years if we factor in the most common associated procedures like bone grafting and extraction. Seems like a really long time for sure (especially when compared to other alternatives). However, dental implants is also undeniably a permanent solution that’s truly worth the investment.
Consultation and Treatment Plan
When you’re a candidate for dental implants, the first thing you will go through is the consultation. This can include taking teeth impressions and X-rays. It is also likely to see a few specialists, including:
- A general dentist
- An oral surgeon
- An orthodontist
- A periodontist
- A prosthodontist
- An ear, nose, and throat specialist
Expect that your medical history will also be looked into. If you have any underlying conditions or any medications/maintenance you are regularly taking, let your doctor know. If you have periodontitis, it should be treated before the procedure begins.
Your dentist will be able to assess if you need bone grafting, how long the process is likely to take, and what the recovery is going to be like. Make sure you also discuss payment methods and approximate costs during the consultation stage.
Bone grafting and tooth extractions are two of the most common procedures that are associated with dental implants. It is possible that neither will be needed in your case. If you are a candidate for both, it is crucial that you ask whatever questions you may have about the procedures.
Dental Implant Surgery
The gum will be cut open so the bone is exposed. Using a drill, a small hole is created where the titanium rod (implant) is inserted. The procedure can take at least a couple of hours. You will leave the office with sutures and might need another appointment to have them removed.
During the recovery period, it is crucial that you adhere to whatever instructions your dentist gives so you can prevent dental implant failure. A temporary crown or denture may be fitted if you don’t want to go without any teeth while waiting for the implant to fuse with the bone.
When the implant and bone fuses, the process is called osseointegration. The rod’s material is biocompatible so bone can grow into it without any issues. This is what makes dental implants very durable.
The abutment is a piece of metal that will secure the bridge or crown (tooth cap) in place. Recovery from this procedure can take only two weeks. Oftentimes, however, you will have to wait for the permanent crown to be created. Creation of the crown can take as long as 6 weeks.
Placement of Artificial Tooth/Teeth
The final stage of the procedure is the placement of the bridge or dental crown. If you are not getting a full arch, the shape and color will be matched to the neighboring teeth. Impressions of the healed mouth are then taken and the bridge or crown is placed, screwed, and then cemented into the abutment.
The Dental Implant Procedure Timeline
The placement of the implant itself can only take a few hours, including time for anaesthesia. The whole process however, can take as long as two years. Some of the factors that can impact the length of the procedure include:
- Your general gum and dental health
- The number of teeth that needs replacement
- The teeth that needs to be replaced
- Whether extractions are needed or not
- Whether jawbone grafting is required
If you won’t require any additional procedures and your oral health is up to par, the dental implant process won’t take as long. Approximately, it will only take around 9 months.