The Complete Dental Implants Procedure Timeline

Curious about dental implants? One of the most common questions we hear from patients is about the timeline. It’s no secret that dental implants aren’t a quick fix solution for missing teeth.

The treatment plan could take months to complete, with some patients waiting over a year for their final restoration. That said, this is a lifelong restoration plan that will provide a second chance for those who have lost their natural teeth. So while it might be a bit of a wait, we think you’ll be happy with the results.

In this guide, we’re exploring the treatment plan and how long you can expect to wait for dental implants. Remember that every patient is different, and timelines are only ever offered as a guideline. The final treatment plan could be very different, depending on a wide range of factors.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are small titanium screws that are placed in the jawbone to provide a solid foundation for a tooth restoration. This procedure helps to replicate the function of a natural tooth root, so it is the only permanent solution for a missing tooth. There are different types of dental implant procedures available, depending on the number of teeth to be replaced.

Types of dental implants

  • Single dental implant – a single implant supports a dental crown and closes a gap in your smile. With this treatment, the surrounding teeth are not impacted and it is typically offered when an individual has lost a single tooth and is looking for a restoration more permanent than a bridge.

  • Dental implant bridge – if there are multiple teeth missing in a row, and a bridge would not be suitable because there isn’t a supporting tooth on one or both sides, then a dental implant bridge might be required. With this treatment, one or two dental implants are used to provide support for a dental bridge, allowing us to replace multiple teeth in a row without the need for a denture.

  • Implant retained dentures – with this treatment plan, an entire arch of teeth may be supported by 4-6 dental implants. With this treatment plan, dentures may be fixed or removable.

  • All-On-4 dental implants – similar to implant retained dentures, but able to support a load-bearing denture from the first day. This treatment plan uses longer dental implants placed at an angle to help support a full-arch restoration. This is a fixed denture that can only be removed by a dentist.

How long does dental implant treatment take?

Treatment varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • How many dental implants we are placing – the more implants you need, the longer it will take your body to heal and integrate with the implant. A single implant will heal the fastest while a treatment like implant retained dentures will take the longest to heal.

  • If you need additional treatments – you might need extractions before your implant treatment, and these may need to heal before we move forward with your implants. You could also need a bone graft to increase the bone density in your jaw, and this could increase the total treatment time.

  • Your individual healing time – everyone responds to the treatment differently. Some people heal faster than others. We’ll give you aftercare support and advice to help you to support your body while it heals.

Dental implant procedure timeline

As mentioned above, healing times are different for everyone, but this is what you can expect from the treatment plan and how long each stage in the process will take.

Step one: extractions and bone grafting (2 weeks to 6 months)

If you need to have teeth extracted before you go forward with treatment, you can expect this to take between 2 weeks and a few months for the jaw bone to completely heal. For bone grafting, the soft tissue will take around 2 weeks to heal while the bone graft won’t be fully healed for around 3-6 months.

Step two: placing the implant (4-6 months)

The next stage is to place the dental implant in the jawbone and leave this to heal and integrate with the bone. Your dentist will arrange checkups during this time to monitor the healing process, but you can expect it to take around 4-6 months for a single dental implant to heal.

Step three: placing the abutment (2-3 weeks)

Once your dentist is satisfied with the healing process, the next step will be to expose the top of the implant and place a healing abutment on top. The soft tissue of your gum will need to heal around this before the final restoration can take place. Expect to wait around 2-3 weeks for this healing process.

Step four: impressions and final restoration (2 weeks)

The final stage of the process is not about healing, but you will instead be waiting for the lab to create your custom crown or bridge. It’s important to make sure you achieve a good fit with your dental crown, as a poorly fitting crown could lead to jaw problems and misalignment.

The importance of flexibility throughout treatment

It’s vital to take a flexible approach to your dental implant treatment plan. Your dentist can only predict so much, and there may be unexpected challenges along the way. Some patients heal much faster than others, and this will allow them to move forward with their treatment more quickly.

It’s vital not to rush the treatment plan along as this could increase the risk of implant failure. There is also the chance that the treatment could be more painful, particularly if final restorations are placed before healing is complete.

For fast implants without the waiting, consider a treatment such as All-On-4 dental implants. With this treatment plan, you can enjoy a same-day restoration and load bearing implants without the wait. By using angled implants, we can speed up treatment times and minimise the waiting.

If you’re ready to discuss dental implants with our experts, get in touch today to book your consultation!

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