Most people know that your dentist will complete the dental implant procedure in various stages. But ‘how long do dental implants take?’ is something nearly every patient is curious about when discussing restorative options with our friendly, experienced team.
Getting dental implants is a very tailored, personalised procedure, so timing really does vary from patient to patient. Knowing the various stages of dental implant procedure can help you to understand the journey, though.
How long do dental implants take: the stages of getting dental implants
Dental implants are the most realistic restorative dentistry option available. Embedded in your gum and jaws, they become a permanent part of your teeth. So much so that dental implants look and function almost exactly like your original tooth.
Dental implants themselves are effectively false roots for your false teeth. Made from titanium, they are permanently fixed in your mouth to house incredibly natural-looking prosthetic teeth, usually a crown. The fact that they are so realistic is part of the reason why the dental implant procedure needs to be completed in stages, generally over a few months.
Stage One: Consultation and preparation for dental implant surgery
The first step of a dental implant procedure is always a thorough consultation and examination. Not every patient can have dental implants. Some patients need additional procedures such as bone grafting or extractions before the dental implant procedure can commence. Healing time needs to be factored into every stage because it’s not just about the surgical site feeling better and the wound recovery. Your gums and bones also need to be strong and healthy enough to house the dental implant device.
How long you’ll wait between your initial consultation and any preparatory procedures depends on what is required, your availability and the availability of any other specialists needed, if any. Your dentist can usually carry out dental-only procedures like tooth extraction as soon as you’re ready.
Stage Two: Dental implant surgery
After your consultation and any preparatory procedures have healed, having the dental implant inserted in your jaw is the next stage. Getting the actual dental implants is a relatively quick operation that takes less than an hour for most patients. The initial recovery is 1-2 days of mild discomfort followed by 1-2 months minimum for your bones and gums to heal and grow around the dental implant. Dental implant surgery is not without its risks, and your dentists will discuss this and any aftercare requirements with you.
Stage Three: Abutment placement
Your dentist will first ensure the site of your dental implants is ready and, if so, attach the abutment (a device that connects the dental implant to the prosthetic tooth).
Dental implant surgery recovery times do vary from patient to patient as it will depend on your overall bone strength and gum health, so expect to be waiting at least a couple of months to reach this stage.
Stage Four: Tooth placement
After about a month or so, you’ll be ready to have your crown fitted, and your dental implant procedure will be complete. Your dentist will check to make sure the bite is correct and give you tips and instructions on how to care for your new dental implants.
How long do dental implants take: tips for a smoother dental implant surgery recovery
While your team is highly trained and experienced, it’s important to remember that all surgical procedures carry risks. The most important thing you can do is ensure you follow the personal instructions from your dental team. This will ensure you have the best recovery from and minimise the risks associated with dental implant surgery.
In addition to any other recommendations your dentist has given you, it usually comes down to things such as:
- Ensuring you take all prescribed medication, such as the entire course of antibiotics, minimises infection risk.
- Refrain from touching the dental implant procedure site with your tongue because this can cause irritation and infection.
- Maintain high levels of oral hygiene, even if there is mild discomfort to do so. Your dentist will explain how to keep the surgery site clean. Please follow these instructions.
- Make sure you discuss any concerns with your dentist. They’d much rather double-check and know for sure everything is ok so don’t overthink calling them if something doesn’t feel right during your recovery.
Keep all follow-up appointments and stick to the schedule. We know life gets busy, and sometimes it might not seem like a big deal to be a few days late visiting the dentist, but when it comes to surgery recovery and healing, prevention is always better than treatment for complications, so checkups are essential.
Ready to find out answers to questions like ‘how long do dental implants take?’ Book a dental implants consultation with the friendly Beyond Dental Care team or call us on (07) 3067 9086 today.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.