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How long do dental implants take

How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

People with severely decayed or damaged teeth tend to have a difficult lifestyle, especially when they use their teeth for eating or speaking. The damage can be so awful that the only way to fix it is by getting dental implants.

You might wonder, “How long do dental implants take?” Well, dental implants can fix missing or damaged teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants provide a stable and robust tooth replacement that closely mimics natural teeth, both in function and appearance. This information could help alleviate any fears about the length of the procedure.

Here’s what you need to know more about the duration of dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis, such as a crown, bridge, denture, or facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. It is an artificial tooth root placed into the jawbone, typically made from titanium.

Over time, the jawbone heals around the implant, anchoring it securely in place. The implant then serves as a sturdy base for attaching a replacement tooth. It’s considered one of the most effective and durable methods for replacing missing teeth.

How Long Does It Take to Do Dental Implants?

The process of getting dental implants can take several months. A consultation is usually needed to evaluate the patient’s oral health and develop a treatment plan. Initial surgery usually takes place to install the implant, which then needs to heal and integrate with the bone, which can take 3-6 months. After healing, a second surgery is typically necessary to place the abutment or the post holding the new tooth.

Once that has healed, the artificial tooth can be placed within a few weeks. Depending on the patient’s health and the details of their specific case, the entire procedure can take anywhere from four months to a year or more.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Step 1: Initial Consultation

This primary assessment of the dental implant process is crucial. Your dentist assesses how long dental implants will take and will check for potential barriers. These may include oral health factors like gum disease or bone loss, which may add time before the actual implant can be placed.

Step 2: Treatment Plan

The next steps in the dental implant surgery process are outlined here. Your dentist will consider all unique elements of your case, including tooth extraction if the real tooth is still in place and the timeframe for the entire process.

Step 3: Bone Grafting

If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before getting a dental implant. This involves embedding a piece of bone tissue onto your jawbone, which often takes several months to generate enough supportive bone to place the implant post.

Step 4: Implant Placement

This stage of the implant surgery involves creating a small incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone. A hole is then drilled into the bone where the dental implant post, essentially a root, is inserted. Depending upon your case, the temporary tooth may be placed over the implant post for aesthetic purposes.

Step 5: Osseointegration

This is the time for the implant post to meld or osseointegrate with the bone tissue. The timeframe depends on each case, but generally, as it involves growing new bone in your jaw, it could take several weeks to a few months.

Step 6: Abutment Placement

After osseointegration, an abutment, a small metal post acting as a connector, is placed onto the implant post. During this visit, a temporary crown would be placed over the abutment. At the same time, the dentist creates your permanent prosthetic teeth or dental crowns.

Step 7: Crown Fitting

Your dental implant surgery moves towards a conclusion with this step. The dentist attaches your custom-made permanent tooth or crown to the abutment. Adjustments may be made to ensure that it fits comfortably and naturally among the rest of your teeth.

Step 8: Post-Procedure Care

After your dental implant placement, taking good care of oral health is vital. Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are crucial. Also, to avoid damaging the implant, hard foods, smoking and tobacco use should be avoided. At this stage, you’ll begin to see the full benefits of your “day implants” as these will feel, look and function like your natural teeth.

Healing Time and Post-Procedure Expectations

  • Initial Recovery. Immediately after the surgery, you may experience some discomfort. You might also have swelling in your gums and face, bruising of your skin and gums, pain at the implant site and minor bleeding. However, your dentist will prescribe medication to help manage the pain.
  • Resting Period. In the first few days following your procedure, it’s important to rest and hydrate. You should only eat soft foods and avoid hot drinks or physically strenuous activities. It’s also crucial to keep your mouth clean, but be careful when cleaning around the surgery area.
  • Healing Period. Over the next several weeks to months (typically 3-6 months), your implant will begin to fuse with the jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. This recovery period is critical to the entire process because it provides a solid foundation for your new artificial tooth. You should practice good oral hygiene and attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Long-Term Care. Once your implant and surrounding tissue fully heal, they should function like normal teeth. However, like natural teeth, implants need regular care. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.

Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation at Smiles of Memorial Today

Dental implants are a great and long-lasting option for restoring missing teeth, but the process requires patience and commitment. The timeline can also vary widely based on individual circumstances, highlighting the importance of a thorough consultation and tailored treatment plan.

If you still haven’t found your answer to the question “How long do dental implants take to put in,” schedule an appointment with dentist in Houston – Smiles of Memorial. We’ll give you specific details to help you get a clear image of how the entire treatment will go.