Here’s All About How Long Do Dental Implants Take

If you’ve been considering getting dental implants, you’re probably wondering: how long do dental implants take? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer – each case is different. But don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down the process for you – from the consultation to the final appointment – so you can get a better idea of what to expect when it comes to the dental implant procedure. So, let’s dive in and discover how long do dental implants take.

What Are Dental Implants?

Before we look at how long dental implants take, we must understand what they are. Dental implants serve as replacements for missing teeth by using artificial ones, synonymously adapting to function and appear naturally. They’re made from titanium and surgically inserted into the jawbone, where they eventually fuse with your natural bone through a process called osseointegration. This creates a strong bond between the implant and your jaw bone, providing a permanent solution for the missing tooth.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

1. Dental implants are the most natural-looking and -feeling way to replace missing teeth.

2. Dental implants are more durable than other tooth replacement options and can last a lifetime with proper care.

3. Dental implants do not require special care; you can brush and floss them the same way you do with your natural teeth.

4. Dental implants can help preserve bone in the jaw and prevent bone loss with other tooth replacement options.

5. Dental implants can help to restore chewing function and improve your ability to eat the foods you love.

6. Dental implants can improve your smile and give you back your confidence.

The Process: How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

Typically, the entire dental implant process will take several months. To start, you’ll need to make an appointment with your dentist for a consultation. At this appointment, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for implants. This evaluation may include X-rays, impressions of the teeth and gums, and other tests to determine if you have enough bone to support the implants.

Once the initial consultation concludes, the next step kicks in the placement of dental implants. This usually takes two appointments at a minimum: one for inserting the implant posts into your jawbone and another for placing the abutments. The timeframe required to complete each appointment is contingent upon various factors, including the complexity of the surgery or specific case. Typically, an individual implant post-insertion requires approximately 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Next, you’ll need to wait for your implants to heal before moving on to the next phase: placing the final restoration (such as a dental crown or bridge). The period for this process can span six months or more and varies depending on your circumstances. During this waiting period, your jawbone will be fusing with the implant posts in a process known as osseointegration.

Once osseointegration is complete and you are cleared to have the restoration placed, it usually takes just one appointment for your dentist to attach it to the abutments. This appointment can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, based on the complexity of your case.

At this point, you’re all done! You’ve now successfully completed the entire dental implant process.

When Would You Need a Bone Graft Procedure?

Occasionally, before starting the dental implant process, a bone graft may be required. This often happens if there isn’t enough healthy bone in your jaw to securely hold the implants in place. If that’s the situation, your dentist may refer you to a dentist for a separate appointment to insert a bone graft into your jawbone to enhance it. This procedure may add time to the overall process, so it’s important to remember this when considering how long dental implants take.

dental implant procedure

What Are the Risks Related to the Dental Implant Procedure? 

  1. Infection

Dental implant surgery does pose a risk of infection due to the bacteria-infested environment of the mouth. Once the surgery is done, there’s a chance for germs to invade the surgical site and cause an infection in the implant. Sadly, treating such requires another surgery.

  1. Nerve Damage

Dental implant surgery poses a risk of nerve damage. During the procedure, nerves in the jaw can sustain damage, resulting in numbness or tingling in the lips, gums, or chin. Unfortunately, such nerve damage can often be long-lasting or even permanent.

  1. Sinus Problems

Dental implants can also cause sinus problems. The implants can interfere with the sinuses, leading to pain and pressure in the face. In some cases, sinus problems can be permanent.

  1. Allergic Reactions

For a few individuals, dental implant materials like titanium or ceramic may trigger allergic reactions. Indications of such reactions include inflammation, redness, and itchiness at the implant site. These symptoms may worsen to a severe degree, necessitating treatment with steroids or other medications.

  1. Failure of Implant

There’s a chance the dental implant may not fuse properly with the bone, which could be due to incorrect placement or inadequate bone for the implant to bond to. In the event that it occurs, the implant will necessitate extraction and replacement with a new one.

When Should You Seek Immediate Help After the Procedure?

Undergoing a medical procedure can be an overwhelming experience. While there might be some discomfort or pain that is expected during the recovery period, there are times when seeking immediate help is absolutely necessary. It’s crucial to carefully follow all the instructions your healthcare provider provides. Still, if you experience severe pain, unusual swelling, or bleeding, it is best to come forward immediately. If you experience any uncommon symptoms like a high fever or chills indicating an infection, it’s crucial to promptly seek medical attention. Remember, any concerns you have about your health should never be overlooked or dismissed, as they could indicate a serious problem.

long do dental implants

7 Tips for Caring for Your Implants

  1. Keep Them Clean

To maintain good dental hygiene with implants, brushing twice and flossing at least once daily is crucial. Additionally, using an interdental brush or water flosser can help keep your implants clean. Remember, just like your natural teeth, your implants need proper cleaning to last longer.

  1. Avoid Hard Foods

While you don’t have to worry about damaging your implants with toothbrush bristles, you do need to be careful with hard foods. Biting into hard candy or crusty bread can damage your implant fixtures, so avoiding these foods altogether is best.

  1. See Your Dentist Regularly

It’s important to see your dentist regularly, even if you don’t have any problems with your implants. Your dentist will be able to check for any early signs of trouble and make sure that your implants are still securely in place.

  1. Quit Smoking

Although smoking is detrimental to one’s general health, it is particularly harmful to dental implants. Smoking can cause implant failure and increase your risk for gum disease and other infections. If you smoke, it’s important to quit as soon as possible.

  1. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral that fortifies tooth enamel and inhibits tooth decay. To safeguard your implants from decay, use a toothpaste containing fluoride when you brush your teeth.

  1. Avoid Chewing Gum

While chewing gum can benefit your teeth, the same can’t be said for your dental implants. Frequent chewing can apply suction and loosen the fixture, which may compromise its stability. As such, avoiding gum altogether is advisable to protect the longevity and effectiveness of dental implants.

  1.  Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth

Clenching or grinding your teeth can damage your implants, so it’s important to avoid these habits if you have them. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, try to relax your jaw and take breaks often. At night, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your implants while you sleep.

Conclusion

This is everything to know about the timeline for successful dental implants. While providing an excellent solution for incomplete dentures and smile restoration, it is important to note these restorations aren’t quick fixes. So, how about giving us a call today? Get your queries on the implant process resolved and schedule an appointment towards a stunning smile.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

References 

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-implant-surgery/about/pac-20384622
  2. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant