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Dental implants are a popular method of tooth replacement and provide a permanent long term solution to tooth loss. If you’ve researched dental implants, you’re probably aware that the procedure comprises multiple steps. But how long do dental implants take from start to finish? Let’s walk you through the steps to give you a better idea of the process.
Patients will be required to attend an initial consultation to assess if they are a suitable candidate for dental implants. It’s also an ideal opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns you may have regarding dental implant surgery.
The next time you step into our dental clinic, it will be to undergo a comprehensive oral examination to assess the health of your mouth. The exam will likely include x-rays and possibly a 3D scan to confirm that your gums and jawbone are healthy and able to support dental implants and to create a personalised treatment plan.
So, how long do dental implants take?
Having passed the examination with flying colours, your dentist will schedule you for dental implant surgery – the first step of the dental implant procedure.
Dental implant surgery
Your dentist will place the titanium dental implant into the jawbone beneath the gums at the site of the missing tooth. Dental implant surgery can take between 1-2 hours for a single implant. Patients face a waiting game once the surgery is over as the titanium implant rod and the jawbone gradually fuse. Depending on the patient’s ability to heal, this process of osseointegration can take between 6 weeks to 3 months or even longer. While this wait can seem frustrating, it’s the most critical part of the dental implant procedure to ensure the best chance of a successful outcome.
Following surgery, you may experience some swelling, bruising, and pain once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. The level of discomfort would depend on how complex your surgery was, especially if the dentist had to remove a tooth or carry out a bone graft. While a dentist can sometimes carry out a bone graft during the same surgery, often this treatment would be carried out before going ahead with dental implants. In this case, the dental implant procedure would be lengthened by up to 8 weeks.
So how long do dental implants take?
Again, this depends on whether the dentist fits the abutment simultaneously with the dental implant.
The abutment is a small component connecting the prosthetic tooth or crown to the implant post and acting as a shock absorber when pressure is applied during chewing.
Undergoing minor surgery to place the abutment could add another 2 to 3 weeks to the overall duration of treatment while the gums are healing.
Placing the dental crown
This is the last part of the dental implant procedure when the dentist fits your permanent crown to complete the process.
In summary, and to answer the question of how long do dental implants take from start to finish, patients should reconcile themselves to the fact that their dental implants could take up to 9 months to complete. That said, the payoff is a permanent tooth that looks, feels, and acts just like the tooth you lost. Surely, the wait is worth it?
Are you considering dental implants?
If you think you may be a candidate for dental implants, then why not book a consultation with the experienced dentists at Smile First Dental. Our dentists will give you the best advice tailored to your situation. Call today on (02) 9000 1138 and take the first step to get back your missing tooth or teeth.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.