If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are considering undergoing an implant-based restoration then you may have seen conflicting information when looking to answer the question ‘how long does a dental implant take?’
Here our dental team explains the dental implants process so you can understand what you can expect and why it’s worth the wait.
Stages of a dental implant procedure
You may or may not know that a dental implants procedure is typically carried out in stages. Typically it goes something like this…
Stage 1 – The consultation/examination
During this meeting, our implant dentist will give you a series of x-rays and scans to ensure that our team has a good overall view of what needs to be done. From this, a virtual 3D mock-up of your jaw is produced which allows us to develop a personalised treatment plan. This is usually carried out during a single dental visit.
Stage 2 – Planning and preparation
In digital dentistry, the planning stage of any dental implant procedure is a key part of the process.
Using state-of-the-art equipment our highly skilled team are able to plot the exact positioning, depth and trajectory of one or more dental implants using virtual technology.
For instance, we can see at a glance where the implant needs to be placed (to the nearest fraction of a millimetre) taking into account bone depth and nearby nerves. Getting the planning stages right means that the patient spends less time in surgery and should expect a speedier recovery. Planning and preparation usually take somewhere between 1-2 weeks.
Stage 3 – Dental implant surgery
Once the planning has been carried out the actual placing of dental implants is a relatively quick process. Using a computer-generated surgical guide a dental implant can be accurately placed in 10-20 minutes with little or no discomfort to the patient.
Stage 4 – Recovery
When we talk about how long dental implants take, it’s important to talk about the recovery phase not just from the point of convalescence post-op, but also with regards to bone fusion (osseointegration). So let’s address each stage in question…
The recovery stage particularly for computer-guided dental implants is negligible. This is because any surgery carried out is minimal and unlike conventional dental implants, this doesn’t involve cutting the gum.
As a result, no sutures are needed and full recovery is often complete within 3-7 days. This does however come with caveats including the number of dental implants placed, their whereabouts in the jaw and the complexity of a patient’s case.
When it comes to bone fusion (osseointegration) however, time is needed for any remaining bone tissue to fuse with the implant. This is a natural process and is what creates a strong platform or foundation for the final dental crown. Typically osseointegration takes 3-6 months and because it isn’t noticeable, patients should be able to go about their normal daily lives in the meantime.
Stage 5 -Abutment and crown
Once the dental implant has fully integrated with the bone, the next part of the dental implant procedure is to fit the abutment (the part that attaches the dental restoration to your implant) and the crown itself. This can be done in one sitting although in other cases, the crown can be placed at a later date.
The dental implant procedure overall
When you add it all up, dental implants can take anywhere between 4-9 months in total. However, the good news is that isn’t all time spent chair-side. Instead, for much of the process, patients are free to go about their normal daily lives. The end results however are permanent long-lasting and incredibly life-like restorations that can and do change lives.
If you would like to find a definitive answer to the question “how long does a dental implant take?” in your particular case, then get in touch with the team at Picnic Point Dental. We will examine you and give you a treatment timescale based on your individual needs and requirements.
Call us now on (02) 8806 0137 for a consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.