Having a dental implant fitted requires surgery and multiple visits to the dentist over several months. While this may seem less than ideal, for many patients, this only needs to be done once in their lifetime.
How long does a dental implant take? Understanding the procedure
The dental implant procedure is carried out across multiple stages, but often patients need to undergo other treatments to prepare their mouth for treatment. These include bone grafting, tooth extraction, and sinus lifts for those having implants in their upper jaw.
Factors that can impact what you need to be ready for the dental implant procedure include whether you have any existing conditions such as gum disease, the jawbone’s overall health and structure, and the state of any neighbouring teeth. Your dentist will advise if additional preparations are required to receive dental implants.
Once you are ready to commence the dental implant procedure, the following stages will take place over several months.
Dental implant placement
This involves making a small incision in the gums to expose the jaw bone. A small hole is drilled in which to place the implant post that will support a prosthetic tooth.
Placement of Abutment
After several months of healing – 4 to 6 months is typical – the abutment is connected to the implant post. This helps secure the false tooth and also withstands the bite force.
Finally, the dental crown is cemented or screwed on top of the implant to complete the tooth restoration.
How long does a dental implant take? The healing process
Part of the reason why getting dental implants takes so long is because of the deep levels of healing required when the implant is fitted. The initial recovery is relatively routine with a low risk of complications if instructions are followed correctly. But in the long term, the bone tissue needs to grow around the implant, which can take anywhere from two to six months.
Your mouth will feel “normal” while that growth happens under your gum, but it’s an essential part of ensuring your jaw is strong enough to support your dental implants.
How long does a dental implant take? Potential risks and complications
When your dentist suggests a duration for your dental implant procedure, it’s always under the assumption your jawbone integrates successfully with the implant, heals at the anticipated rate, and there are no complications. While getting dental implants from a skilled and experienced dentist is relatively safe, there is always a risk of infection or something going wrong.
Here are some ways you can help ensure your recovery and ongoing dental implant procedure goes as smoothly as possible:
- Looking after the wound while it heals is pretty simple, but you must carefully follow all instructions given to you by the dental team.
- Look after your dental implants and any remaining natural teeth properly – maintain a good oral routine in line with your dentist’s recommendations.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Remember, when you can feel dental problems, they’re usually well advanced, so a check-up every six months is recommended.
- Support strong and healthy bones and teeth with a calcium-rich diet.
Start your dental implant journey now
How long does a dental implant take? Much longer if you don’t have that initial appointment with your dentist! The friendly and experienced team at My Local Dentists (previously Leichhardt Marketplace Dental) offer obligation free consultations and advice. Book your appointment or call us on (02) 9100 0188 now.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Mayo Clinic.org – Dental Implant Surgery
Healthline – Dental Implant Procedure: What To Know
Healthline – Everything to Know About a Sinus Lift