Losing a tooth can be a distressing experience, not only because of physical pain but also because of the change in your look. A comfortable and widely used solution for a missing tooth is Dental implant surgery.
Dental implants are designed to be the lifetime solution for tooth replacement. If you’re considering this tooth replacement solution, you are likely to have a crucial question, “How long does a dental implant procedure take?”
The tooth implant procedure is reasonably quick and straightforward. However, the journey that starts from considering getting tooth implants to enjoying a bright, complete smile can be lengthy, depending on the type of implant and your oral conditions.
But, how long does a dental implant take at each stage of the process? Let’s find out.
Stages of Dental Implant Procedure
1 Initial Dental Consultation and Examination
The first step is to visit a dental clinic for the initial consultation. Your dentist will examine your oral condition and search for the problems that need to be addressed before starting the tooth implant surgery.
The dentist may also take a 3D imaging scan or X-rays of your teeth and jawbone to acquire more information about your overall oral condition. From this, your dentist will develop a suitable treatment plan for you and discuss the treatment options with you.
Your initial dental consultation will probably take an hour. You can also ask your dentist how much time your dental examination will take when you call to schedule your appointment. Your dental examination is a great time to clarify any lingering questions and learn about all the pre-dental implant preparations.
2 Surgical Procedure
During the dental implant surgery, your dentist will place an artificial tooth root (made of titanium) into your jawbone. This will keep the crown safe and secure in your mouth.
Your dentist may use local anesthetics to keep you comfortable during the surgery. The dental implant procedure will likely take around an hour for each implant. But this time varies with the technique your dentist opts for and the location of your tooth.
You may be surprised at how quick and comfortable this surgery will turn out to be.
3 Bone Fusion Time
Bone fusing is the stage in which your jawbone fuses to the implant’s titanium screw. This process is called osseointegration and can take between 6 and 12 weeks to recover fully.
It is important to note what food to eat and what to avoid after your dental implant procedure. You may need to consume liquids and soft foods for the first few weeks to give your bone enough room to heal around the implant area. Not following the prescribed diet plan and medications can prolong your recovery time and can cause complications.
4 Placing the Abutment and Crown
After completing the bone fusion period, your dentist will place the abutment – a socket-shaped component – on the implant. This component acts as a shock absorber between the permanent porcelain crown and implant. But sometimes, this step is done during the dental implant procedure.
Healing from an abutment fitting procedure takes about two weeks. Furthermore, your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown during this visit, as the permanent custom version takes six weeks to prepare.
Combine the time taken from the initial consultation to placing the abutment and crown. The procedure can take time between 3-9 months. However, this depends on the individual’s healing capabilities and circumstances. Moreover, if a patient needs a bone augmentation or sinus lift, it can easily add 4-8 weeks extra.
So, is a dental implant worth the time? Yes, dental implants seem like a long commitment, but it gives you a healthy and strong look for life. Unlike many other tooth-replacement options, dental implant procedures are for life-long benefits.