Dental implants are the gold standard solution for tooth loss. In addition to restoring the appearance and functionality of your teeth, dental implants can also counteract other oral health issues relating to tooth loss, such as bone and tissue degeneration.
Losing a tooth can cause the remaining teeth to move over time because bacteria develop beneath the gum line, the risk of infection increases, eroding oral tissue and bone.
Dental implants are durable and designed to last a lifetime. They are considered a permanent solution that can rejuvenate your smile and improve your quality of life. At Dentistry On Solent, patients often wonder, how long does a dental implant take?
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium post that replaces the natural tooth root. The implant serves as the foundation for the replacement tooth.
Once the implant is secured into place, an abutment is attached to it. Abutments are connectors that join the prosthetic tooth to the implant. Once a custom dental crown is fabricated, it is attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant procedure.
Dental implants are fitted surgically. Since they fuse with the jawbone, implants provide a stable anchor for the tooth crown. Their durability and longevity are among the reasons they are considered the most effective permanent tooth replacement solution.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure consists of five key stages, taking place over several months. Depending on whether you need preparatory work, how quickly your mouth heals, and the bone fusion process, the total time it takes to complete the implant may vary.
For some patients, the dental implant procedure takes as little as three months.
Initial dental implant consultation
The first step is to schedule a consultation with one of the skilled dentists at Dentistry On Solent. Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and overall oral health to assess whether you require preparatory dental work ahead of your procedure. They may also take X-rays for a more accurate picture of your mouth to determine jawbone density and thickness.
Provided you have good general health, strong gum tissue, and sufficient bone density, your dentist will discuss the next step of the implant process. This is the perfect time to ask questions about dental implants, such as how long do dental implants take?
If active gum disease or tooth loss has caused bone degeneration, you may require additional dental treatment before dental implant surgery. Gum disease is treated through scaling and polishing, which removes the hardened plaque buildup on the surface of the teeth. Root planing may also be necessary to remove harmful bacteria from the roots of the teeth.
In cases where the jawbone isn’t dense enough, you may need a bone graft. This can take several months to heal, increasing the overall time for a successful dental implant.
Dental implant surgical procedure
Traditionally, the surgical procedure involves an incision on the gum line to expose the jawbone. The dental implants are secured in place through small holes drilled into the bone.
At Dentistry On Solent, we use state-of-the-art DIO implant technology. This system enables our dentists to fit implants quickly and with precision accuracy. DIO implant technology uses a computer-guided system, allowing the dentist to perform flapless surgery.
Rather than cutting open the gum, the DIO technology secures the implant through the gum tissue, eliminating the need to open a gingival flap.
This cutting-edge implant technology reduces surgery time, lowers risk, minimises bleeding, and causes less trauma to the surgical area. Patients can enjoy a faster recovery than with traditional implant surgery.
Once the implant is fitted, it needs to fuse with the jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration. Due to the flapless surgical procedure, your gums can heal in as little as one week. However, bone fusion typically takes two to six months.
Osseointegration is a complex process where the living bone and the implant bond. It is a critical process that’s integral to the implant’s long-term stability.
Attaching the dental implant abutment
When the implant has successfully fused with your jawbone, your dentist schedules an appointment to attach the abutment. This is a straightforward and minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon opens the gum to gain access to the implant before securing the abutment.
They seal the tissue around the connector, ensuring it doesn’t heal over it. After two weeks, your gums should be fully healed and ready for the final step.
Fitting the dental crown
The final step is to fit your custom dental crown, restoring your beautiful smile. At Dentistry On Solent, we offer porcelain crowns to match your natural teeth.
Porcelain closely resembles real teeth, giving you a natural look. Your dentist takes impressions of your mouth to ensure the crown fits the contours of your gum line and your bite alignment.
Once your dental implant is successfully fitted, you can brush and floss as usual.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Take: A Quick Review
The best way to determine how long dental implants will take is to schedule a consultation with Dr Rai at Dentistry on Solent. Dr Rai can assess your oral health to decide whether you are a candidate for dental implants or need preparatory work before surgery. She can provide you with an estimated timeframe and go over the dental implant procedure in more detail.
At Dentistry On Solent, our state-of-the-art technology ensures the dental implant procedure is as fast, safe and comfortable as possible. Call us on (02) 9158 6137 to book your appointment today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Everything to Know About a Dental Implant Procedure
Osseointegration: An Update
Treatment Gum Disease