Wondering how long a dental implant process takes? The answer varies for each patient. However, it usually takes somewhere between 3-12 months for the implant process to be completed, based on your particular case.
One may wonder as to why does it take so long, and if it is worth waiting for the results? We’ll endeavour to answer those queries by discussing the basics of the dental implant process and timeline, and help you understand everything you need to know about single tooth implants.
Initial Consultation & Preparation
To begin the dental implant process, you’ll need an initial consultation with a periodontist at Central Periodontics & Dental Implants. At this consultation, your periodontist will determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery. Your periodontist will use x-rays and digital imaging to examine your mouth, and conduct a comprehensive oral exam to check the health of your gum tissue and jawbone tissue to ensure your mouth is healthy enough for placement of an implant.
Depending on your case, even if you have been approved for an implant, you may need pre-implant surgery. For example, if you do not have enough bone in your jaw, implants may not be right for you unless you get a bone graft. You may also need a tooth extraction or alveoloplasty (jawbone smoothing). It may take several months, ranging anywhere from 3-9 months for full healing post these procedures before you can proceed to the placement of the dental implant.
Dental Implant Surgery & Initial Healing
Your dental implants will be placed into your jaw and gum tissue based on your treatment plan from Central Periodontics & Dental Implants. Just like any surgery, there will be a short healing and recovery process that you’ll need to go through, after your implant is placed. The initial healing takes a period of around 1-2 weeks. However, each patient’s healing response may vary. Many factors can impact the healing rate, including the following:
- How many teeth were affected by the procedure
- If the surgery required bone or gum grafting
- If the patient has gum disease, periodontal disease, or poor oral health in general
Every patient will heal differently no matter how well they follow their treatment plan, with some people taking longer to heal than others. While natural teeth are not impacted by dental implant surgery, tooth roots may become irritated after the procedure.
Are dental implants painful to have placed?
Dental implants are tiny pieces of titanium implanted into the patient’s jaw below the gum line. Implanted metal that is fusing to the jawbone will not be an entirely painless procedure. Most patients will have pain and swelling at the site for a time. The type of replacement tooth procedure you have done will impact post-surgical pain and healing times.
- For a single tooth replacement, the periodontist will put in one artificial tooth within the gum tissue. If the person has healthy gums and teeth, the pain will be minimal and so will healing times.
- Most patients will undergo a moderate implant procedure where they will need several replacement teeth. There will be more swelling and bruising than in a single tooth replacement. The healing process usually takes seven to fourteen days after which they can resume normal tooth brushing.
- In difficult procedures, the pain and the healing times are more pronounced, with longer recovery times. These patients will have many implants and may need to maintain gentle dental care regimens for up to six weeks post-surgery.
What is peri-implant disease?
Without proper dental care, bacteria can gather around the base of the implant. Peri-implant diseases are a group of inflammatory conditions caused by bacteria build up around the implant. There are many way patients can reduce the chances of peri-implant disease from gaining a foothold:
- Quit smoking for at least one month post-surgery
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Only eat healthy and soft cold or lukewarm foods
- Softly brush the implants regularly
- Do not exercise for at least four days after getting implants
Osseointegration & Abutment/Restoration Placement
You will need to wait between 3-6 months to have your false tooth (crown) screwed into the implant, with an abutment. This is due to the “osseointegration” process, in which the titanium dental implant bonds with the jaw bone in your mouth. This ensures that your replacement teeth won’t move, and allows your implant to function as an artificial root.
Once it is established that your mouth has healed completely, your crown will be screwed onto your implant, completing the procedure. If you have a very healthy mouth and your jaw bone heals quickly, you could get a dental implant in just 3-4 months. But if it takes longer to heal and you need additional pre-treatment surgeries like tooth extractions or bone grafting, it may take up to 6-12 months. Each case varies.
Post-implant maintenance is a very crucial part of your treatment. You’ll need to make sure that you take proper care of your replacement teeth. After your implant has been placed and finished with a dental crown, you will need to make sure that you brush and floss at least twice per day. Nothing replaces tooth brushing and flossing – it’s always important, even for implants. Treat your implant just like a natural tooth, and make sure you clean it properly and keep it healthy.
In addition, you should see the team at Central Periodontics & Dental Implants for a consultation every six months. We’ll clean your natural teeth and your implants, and keep an eye on your implants to make sure that they are looking strong, healthy, and free of common complications.
Know What To Expect When Getting Dental Implants In Canberra!
At Central Periodontics, we’ve been helping patients devise and stick to comprehensive treatment plans for their post-surgical recovery.
For a better estimate as to how long your implant will take, and to get a quote for the implant placement procedure, you can contact Central Periodontics and Dental Implants now. We don’t require referrals, and new patients are always welcome. Give us a call now at 02 6247 6555 to get started.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.