When considering an implant-based tooth restoration you may have seen conflicting information about the length of time a dental implant procedure takes. Although it is possible to have prosthetic teeth fitted at the same time as dental implants are placed, this isn’t always possible.
So when answering the question ‘how long does a dental implant procedure take? we are really talking about standard (conventional) implants. So let’s take these as a case in point and break the procedure down step by step including time frames for each phase.
Stage 1 – The consultation
During the consultation, our dental team will carry out a thorough dental examination and take a series of X-rays and (possibly) 3D scans of your mouth and jaw. This is so that we get a good overall view of exactly what needs to be done and how your dental implants should be placed. The consultation phase should be completed in just one single visit.
Stage 2 – Planning and preparation
The next step of your dental implants procedure is perhaps the most important part. This is where most of the planning and preparation takes place, During this phase, our team will plan out your dental implants process taking into account the quality and quantity of any remaining bone – remember dental implants need to be anchored into sufficient bone to survive. From this, we will come up with an overall custom-treatment plan based on your needs and requirements. The timescale for this is typically 2-4 weeks.
Stage 3 – The surgery
This is the part of the dental implant procedure that most people worry about, but in truth, it’s a relatively straightforward procedure carried out under a local anaesthetic.
Some people will require a bone graft or sinus lift before dental implants are placed and although each procedure takes a little under an hour to complete, sufficient healing time is needed to ensure that dental implants are placed in the ideal conditions.
Healing time can take anywhere between 2 and 5 months so if these phases are necessary, then you need to be prepared to add an extra 8-20 weeks onto your overall treatment time
With regards to the implant placement itself, then unless there are multiple implants, this process is normally carried out in a single surgery. In fact, most people who undertake a dental implant procedure are surprised at just how quick and comfortable this part of the process is.
Stage 4 – Recovery
When we answer the question of how long does a dental implant procedure take we also need to take into account the recovery phase. This can be split into two parts
- The recovery from surgery and
- Bone fusion (osseointegration)
Post-op recovery can vary from one person to another depending upon the number of dental implants they require and the overall complexity of their case. In some cases, a patient can be back to normal within 2-3 days whereas others will need several weeks of recuperation. Either way, recovery from dental implants surgery should easily be managed using a combination of rest, over-the-counter medication and cold compresses to bring out and eradicate any swelling or bruising.
During this time, your body should have started the natural process of bone fusion (osseointegration). This is where the bone tissue at the missing tooth site fuses with the implant to create a solid foundation. After doing so, the implant effectively becomes part of your mouth. This process can take anywhere between 3-6 months to complete.
Stage 5 – The abutment and restoration
Once your dental implants have fully stabilised you will be called back to the dentist to have your abutment and dental crown fitted. Typically this part of the dental implant procedure involves exposing any dental implants buried beneath the gum line and fitting them with an abutment. This is a small socket-like piece that acts as support between the implant and the dental crown. Once this has been fitted your permanent restoration or restorations are placed.
In some cases, a dental crown can be fitted at the same time as the abutment but normally the abutment is fitted first, then 1-2 weeks later the permanent restoration is positioned. This gives the site chance to heal once again before the permanent crown is fitted.
So how long does a dental implant procedure take overall?
As you can see, several factors can and do dictate how long dental implants take from start to finish. If for example, you have a single missing tooth and embark on a straightforward placement with no complications then you could be looking at a procedure time of as little as 4 months.
However, if you need to undergo a bone grafting or sinus lifting procedure before getting multiple dental implants then that figure may be closer to 9 months.
If you are considering undergoing a dental implant procedure and would like to find out more about how long it might take, schedule a consultation with the Beyond Dental Care team. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to us in person, call us direct on (07) 3067 9086.
We take the time to understand your needs and requirements to provide you with a fully customised treatment plan including listing what needs to be done, treatment timescales and dental implant costs. So what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards transforming your smile today!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.