How Long Do Dental Implants Take?
If you are thinking about having a missing tooth replaced, there is a growing number of replacement treatment options available today for you to consider. Of the many treatment options, dental implants are one of the most popular because they offer stability and security that many of the alternative treatments do not. However, from start to finish the implant treatment process is a bit longer than the alternatives. Below is more information about dental implant treatment and the estimated timeline for how long the treatment takes.
The Dental Implant Treatment Process
Committing to a dental implant treatment involves the investment of your money and your time. the treatment process occurs in multiple steps over several dental visits. Prior to committing to an implant treatment, it is important you are prepared for the time commitment involved. The entire treatment process takes approximately 3-9 months from start to finish. While this may seem long, the result is a permanent replacement tooth that will last for many years up to a lifetime. Here are the general steps involved in the implant treatment process:
Step 1: Pre-surgery Dental Exam
Prior to developing an implant treatment plan, your dental provider will complete a comprehensive oral health exam and take X-rays. This step is important to confirming the jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support the implant. The exam is also essential to developing a customized implant treatment plan, taking measurements for your implant post, and selecting an artificial crown.
Step 2: Implant Surgery
Next, is the biggest part of the process: the surgical placement of the implant post. While this step may seem intimidating, the implant surgery is relatively quick. During the surgery a small hole is drilled into the jawbone and a metal post is installed in the hole. The surgery takes approximately 1-2 hours for each implant. After your implant is securely in place, the next step will not occur for several weeks. Immediately after the implant surgery, a several week to month healing period is required to allow time for the implant to fuse with the bone. During this time, the jawbone tissue heals around the implant and secures it in place. This process is critical to the long-term success of the implant. The length of this healing period will be decided by your dental provider and depends on the patient and how quickly their gums and bones heal. The next visit will usually be scheduled in 4-12 weeks.
Step 3: Abutment & Crown Fitting
After the healing period is complete, the final step of the process can occur. During this final step the abutment and crown are fitted to the implant post. This step is the least invasive part of the entire treatment. An abutment is a small cushion like connector between the implant and the artificial crown. The new artificial crown is securely fitted on top of the abutment. Prior to this final appointment, your provider will order the crown, based on the measurements taken in the first dental visit.