Posted November 10, 2023 in Dental Implants
Dental implants have become the gold standard for replacing missing or unhealthy teeth. They offer stability, full function, a natural appearance, and feel like your natural teeth. If you’re considering dental implants, it’s essential to understand the process from start to finish, which includes the time it takes from your initial consultation to the placement of your final restoration.
The time it takes you to complete this process will depend on your gums and jaw bone condition, the number of implants needed, and the technique your dentist uses.
While the timeline for implants is considerably longer than that for traditional dentures or bridges, the end result is a comprehensive tooth replacement solution that far outmatches the other options.
Implants can support bridges and dentures, but the following will focus more on the placement of individual dental crowns.
Your Initial Dental Implant Consultation (One Visit)
The first step of your dental implant journey is the initial consultation with your oral surgeon or implant specialist. During this appointment, your provider will evaluate your oral health, discuss your treatment goals, and develop a personalized treatment plan. This visit typically includes a thorough examination, imaging, and discussion of your medical history.
Pre-implant Preparations (Several Weeks to Several Months)
If any extractions, treatment for gum disease, or bone grafts are necessary, these must be performed before placement to ensure a solid foundation for your implants. Depending on your needs, this phase can last several weeks to a few months.
Implant Placement (Usually Only One Visit)
The surgical placement of your dental implants is performed under local anesthesia or sedation to ensure your comfort. During surgery, your dental provider will create small incisions in the gums, insert the implant(s) into the jawbone, and close the incisions.
Healing and Osseointegration (Three to Six Months)
After implant placement, the healing process is crucial because this is when osseointegration occurs. Osseointegration involves the implant fusing with the surrounding bone to provide a strong and secure foundation for your prosthetic teeth.
Abutment Placement (One Visit)
Once osseointegration is achieved, you’ll return to the dentist for the next step: abutment placement. These connectors link the implant with the final restoration and involve reopening the gum to expose the top of the implant and attach the abutment(s). This procedure typically takes less than an hour.
Dental Impressions and Prosthetic Design (About Two Weeks)
When the abutments are in place, dental impressions are obtained to send to the lab for the creation of your custom replacement teeth. During the following two or more weeks, a dental laboratory creates your crown, bridge, or denture to match your natural teeth in color, size, and shape.
Final Dental Restoration Placement (One Visit)
Finally, it’s time to receive your new teeth. Your dentist will securely attach the custom prosthetic(s) to the abutments and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a natural, comfortable fit.
Only Your Dental Implant Specialist Knows
So, you can understand why there is no set timeline to complete the dental implant process, as it differs for each patient. While the initial consultation and implant placement can be relatively quick when the jawbone is healthy, pre-placement supportive care and osseointegration can take several months.
It’s essential to consult with an oral surgeon or dental implant specialist to find out how long your dental implant journey will last.
Three variables to keep in mind include:
- Oral health must be optimized, and gum disease must be fully treated before implant placement.
- Individual dental implants take longer than implant-supported bridges or dentures but offer the most complete tooth replacement solution available.
- The health of your jawbone will significantly impact the time it takes to complete your dental implants.
Gentle Care Dentistry for Dental Implants in Las Cruces, NM
The long-term benefits of dental implants are well worth the investment in time. Learn more about what you can expect when you choose our Las Cruces, New Mexico, dental implant specialist by calling 575-524-3722 today!