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Home / Blog / Dental Implants / How Long Does It Take For A Dental Implant?

How Long Does It Take For A Dental Implant?

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Jun 17, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Jun 17, 2024  
How Long Does It Take For A Dental Implant?

Dental implants are discreet and long-term fixes for missing teeth, which can improve your bite, any pain you might be feeling thanks to the lost teeth, and your self-confidence. While the time it takes to make the dental implants can vary, we find that most patients' dental implants take between four and nine months. However, we've found that this healing period often varies depending on your personal treatment plan.

Here at Gorgeous Smiles, we want to make your dental implant procedure as worry-free and enjoyable as possible. After all, you're getting a new smile! That's cause for celebration if we've ever heard it. To learn more about dental implants, keep reading.

Why are dental implants necessary?

A dental implant procedure is necessary for a number of reasons, but some people can be nervous about the idea of having surgery to replace missing teeth. Of course it's valid to be somewhat cautious of the idea - dental implants are a surgical procedure that requires stitches and drilling into your bone to fit the implant. This sounds much worse than it is, and there are many reasons why the benefits might outweigh the drawbacks in your case, such as:

  • You're experiencing pain or discomfort while eating because of missing teeth

  • Your speech is suffering and you want to fix this

  • Your existing teeth are becoming damaged or diseased because of the gaps in your smile

  • You want to improve your self-confidence by replacing the lost or missing teeth

Types of dental implants

We've listed the types that we, as your dentist, might choose for you below:

Single and multiple implants

During a single or multiple dental implant, we'll insert a titanium screw into the space the missing tooth root left. The screw is added to the bone and left for the jaw to fuse around it, keeping the implant as secure as possible. Once it's healed we'll be able to add the replacement tooth on top. This type usually takes between four and nine months.

Implant-supported bridges

Implant-support dental implants are sometimes recommended to replace multiple missing teeth in one row. We've found that this is a popular alternative to traditional bridges or individual implants if you have multiple teeth missing. Here we'll place the implants into the jawbone so they can fuse as quickly as possible before attaching the tooth replacement bridge on top of the implant, taking around five months in total.

Implant-retained dentures

Next up is implant-retained dentures, a type of implant that involves the replacement teeth being carried on an acrylic base, which is then attached to the dental implants. We often recommend this option if you don't have many remaining natural teeth left, but your bone structure is still good enough to support the implants. The dentures are often fitted onto the plants with a bar and this usually takes between four and seven months.

Smile in a day treatment

The smile in a day treatment is the one that gets the quickest results and therefore is the most popular. However, we usually reserve it for people with little to no teeth and involve replacing the teeth with a full set of implants. We'll fit the implants into the jaw before temporary teeth are added to give you new teeth the very same day. After three or four months, your permanent teeth will be ready to fix into your mouth where the temporary crown once was!

How long does the dental implant process take?

We often advise that the entire process of getting dental implants can range from four to nine months, depending on the dentist you choose and the severity of your missing teeth. This timescale includes five main steps you'll need to go through before you can come out the other side with a perfect smile.

Step one: The initial consultation

Before you can even think of undergoing a dental implants procedure, you'll need to have an initial consultation with us. We think it is so important for you to take this time to shop around and find the best practice, as most dentists will have a different procedure and timeframe for dental implants. You can ask all the questions you want here to get the best idea of what's happening and whether it's the right decision for you - we're happy to help in any way possible; there are no wrong questions!

We'll often ask about your medical history, what you want out of the procedure, and the likely cost. Once you're happy with the treatment plan and no longer have any questions, we'll invite you to move on to the next step.

Step two: Clinical assessment

Now that you're happy with the idea of dental implants and want to get the ball rolling, we're going to assess the problem and see what we can do about it. During your assessment, we'll take x-rays of your jawbone to make a model of your teeth, which will help us determine whether you're ready for implant surgery. It'll also help us decide where the best place to fit the implant is.

We might also want to give you a CBCT scan, as this will let us see exactly how much bone you have to work with. When there's not enough bone to work with, we may offer a bone graft procedure or sinus lift to offer more space to work with before fitting the implants.

It's during this step that your treatment plan will be finalised, and the costs will be determined here too. We'll tell you what will happen before, during, and after the procedure so you're fully aware of what's happening. As long as you're happy, you'll sign the treatment plan and get everything ready for you!

Step three: Placing the dental implant

Now we've got all of the boring (but necessary) steps out of the way, it's time to fit the implant. This is usually a straightforward procedure that we can do under local anaesthetic, so you shouldn't feel any pain. However, some dentists might offer a mild sedation if you're feeling worried.

Once your mouth has been numbed, we'll cut into your gum and drill a small hole into your jawbone. The implant is then inserted into this hole, and the gum is closed with stitches. However, it's important to note that you might not need stitches, so don't be alarmed if your dentist skips this step.

We might then fit the new teeth on the same day, which is otherwise known as the 'smile in a day' treatment plan. However, if you only have one or two missing teeth, we may recommend the bone and gums be left for a while to heal before the teeth are inserted. You might have the option to wear some temporary teeth to fill the gap while you're waiting for your next appointment.

Step four: Fitting your permanent teeth

After your implant has been fitted, it's not uncommon for you to have a long wait for the implant to completely bond with the jawbone. This can range from between four and eight months.

Once your jaw is healed, you'll be able to come back into the practice for your replacement tooth to be fitted. This will include crowns and the abutment placement, which is the support for the tooth. These will be custom-made to fit your mouth, taking into account the shape and colour of your existing teeth.

Step five: Caring for your new tooth

After your tooth has been fitted, we will give you all the aftercare information you need. It's essential that you follow these instructions carefully so you don't jeopardise your new smile. You'll also have to attend follow-up appointments to make sure your tooth remains happy and healthy.

Are there any risks to dental implant surgery?

Any surgery comes with risks, but as a whole dental implants are relatively straightforward and come with minimal risks. However, there are a few risks associated with this procedure, including:

  • Infection around the implant

  • Damage to the surrounding teeth or blood vessels

  • Nerve damage, which can cause pain or numbness around the gums, teeth, lips, and face

  • Sinus issues

Final thoughts

We often recommend four types of dental implants that you can be given, depending on the number of missing teeth you have and your bone structure. Depending on the type of implant surgery you're offered, the dental implant procedure usually takes between four and nine months. This is because the jawbone needs time to fuse with the titanium dental implant before the teeth can be fitted. However, there is the smile in a day treatment that uses temporary teeth to patch the holes before your mouth is ready for your permanent teeth.

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