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dentist performing a dental implant procedure

Dental implants have revolutionized the way that dentists help people replace missing teeth, offering a durable, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing solution to something that was once treated solely with dentures or bridges. 

If you’re considering getting dental implants, however, you may be wondering just how long the procedure takes from start to finish. Understanding the duration and what to expect can make the journey toward your new smile seem less daunting, and give you a good estimate of when you can start enjoying your new teeth.

In this short blog, follow along as we explain how long you can expect to wait to get your new dental implants and demystify the entire process from beginning to end.

How Long Do Dental Implant Procedures Take?

The time it takes to get dental implants can vary depending on a wide variety of factors, including a patient’s specific circumstances and their case complexity. Generally, the entire process, from the initial consultation to the placement of the final crown, spans several months. While this accounts for planning, the surgical implantation itself, and the osseointegration (bone fusion) period, patients can typically expect to undergo about 3-6 treatment visits overall.

The dental implant procedure, on the other hand, is usually divided into two main surgical phases: the placement of the titanium implant post (which is the actual implant itself that serves as a replacement tooth root) and the attachment of the abutment (a connector piece that supports the final restoration/crown). Combined, this takes about an hour. However, the two phases don’t happen at the same time, and the procedure itself often varies from patient to patient. 

Understanding the Procedure Timeline

To better understand the duration of the dental implant procedure, it’s helpful to understand all the steps involved. While your specific treatment plan may differ, the basic process involved in most dental implant procedures follows these steps:

Your Initial Consultation: The journey to getting dental implants usually begins with an initial consultation with a dentist, where your dental health is evaluated, and treatment options are discussed. If your dentist recommends dental implants, the next step is a comprehensive dental examination.

Preparation and Planning: If your dentist recommends dental implants, the next step is usually a comprehensive dental examination, which may include X-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth and jaws. This information is used to create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, setting the foundation for a successful procedure.

Implant Placement: The implant placement is a surgical procedure typically performed under local anesthesia, taking about 1-2 hours per implant. This phase involves inserting a titanium screw into the jawbone, which acts as a robust foundation for the new tooth.

Healing Period (Osseointegration): The most vital phase in the implant process is the healing period whereby the implant fuses with the jawbone. Lasting 3-6 months, this natural process known as osseointegration is critical for ensuring the stability of your new tooth and enabling proper functionality.

Abutment Placement: After successful osseointegration, an abutment is placed on the implant. This small connector piece will hold your new tooth (crown) in place. 

Crown Placement: Finally, your dentist will then attach a custom-made crown to the abutment. Designed to match your natural teeth, the crown will look and feel just like any other teeth in your mouth and be equally durable. Once the crown is in place, you can rest easy knowing your dental implant is complete and ready for you to enjoy it for years to come.

What Affects the Duration?

It’s important to note that while the outlined timeline provides a general overview, the exact duration can vary based on individual factors and your case’s complexity. For example, some patients may require additional procedures, such as bone grafting (such as in the case of a tooth extraction or implant placement) which can impact the overall length of your treatment. Additionally, patients with severe misalignment or bite issues may require longer treatment times compared to those with less severe cases.

Take the Next Step in Restoring Your Smile

Now that you have an answer to “How long is a dental implant procedure?” and the steps involved, it’s time to take the next step towards restoring your smile: scheduling a consultation. 

If you’re interested in getting a dental implant procedure in Lakeway, contact Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry today. We’re committed to providing personalized care tailored to your needs and can give you a better estimate of how long the procedure will take after we’ve assessed your unique situation. Plus, we’ll guide you through each stage of the procedure (should you choose to have it) ensuring your comfort and confidence every step of the way.

Ready to transform your smile? Contact us to schedule your consultation today!

Get started on your healthy, beautiful smile today!