The dental implant process is a multi-step process that can take anywhere from 5 to 8 months, depending on the individual. It begins with surgery, where the dentist places a titanium implant in the jawbone below the gums. This surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours for each implant. After the surgery, the dentist will wait 3 months for the implant to integrate into the bone and become a natural part of the mouth.
This process, known as osseointegration, can take 3 to 6 months or longer. Once the implant has healed, the dentist will place an abutment and crown on it. This step usually takes 1 to 2 weeks. The dentist may also need to make several visits to adjust your teeth or temporary dentures and monitor healing at the implant site.
If you act quickly after losing a tooth, you may be able to replace it with an “immediate dental implant”. This involves placing a titanium post in the exact spot where your old tooth used to be within 48 hours before the gum grows into the socket. However, getting an implant isn't as easy as walking into the dentist's office without a tooth and leaving with one. Before you can consider dental implants as a solution to tooth loss, your oral health must be optimal.
Your dentist will assess your oral health and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. They will also provide you with an individual timeline for your implant procedure.Dental implants are worth the wait because they become part of your anatomy when they fuse and are anchored to the mandible. This makes them as strong and reliable as healthy, natural teeth. If you are considering dental implants, it is important to understand that the process takes several months from start to finish.