How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

Dental ToolsDental implants have revolutionized cosmetic dentistry by creating a tooth replacement option that can dramatically improve a patient’s appearance as well as their dental health. However, one of the trickiest questions for a dentist to answer is, “how long will it take for me to receive my dental implants?” The shortest (but least detailed) answer is, “It depends.”

Here’s an overview of some of the factors that can influence the timeline of a dental implant treatment.

Factors influencing the dental implant treatment timeline

  1. Overall patient health. A patient who is in good physical health makes an ideal dental implant Systemic medical conditions such as diabetes can impair wound healing, meaning that special precautions may need to be taken to ensure the success of the dental implant.
  2. Bone density in the jaw. This is a key factor. A patient’s jaw needs sufficient bone density to support the dental implant. If a patient requires bone grafts, this can require a separate procedure and up to six months time for the jaw to heal and be ready for the implant.
  3. Location and type of tooth being replaced. In the case of replacing a single tooth, or a few teeth, if the tooth is near the front of the mouth and has relatively small roots, it is often possible to receive an immediate placement of the implant.
  4. Health of the extracted/missing tooth site. This is another key factor. If the site where a tooth is to be extracted or is missing is infected, it may contain gum or bone damage and may require separate treatments and healing time before it is safe to undertake a dental implant
  5. Type of dental implant. Some implants, such as teeth-in-a-day, do not place the new implant under the same chewing forces because of the angle at which the implants are anchored in the mouth. This often means that a provisional set of overdentures can be placed on top of the implants immediately, instead of requiring several months of healing and osseointegration for implants buried in the jaw.

“It’s important for your dentist to thoroughly evaluate your case if dental implants are a possibility, and discover what kind of adjunct procedures might be necessary,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “It’s always best to to give the implant process the time it needs to work successfully for that individual.”

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