The dental implant process is basically a three-phase process, which can be different for everyone. Usually, the whole process takes 5 to 8 months. As you'll see, this is a little different for people who wear full oral dentures. Surgery is the real first step in the implant process.
The dentist will place the titanium implant in the jaw bone, just below the gums. This surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours for each implant placed. Once this step is complete, most dentists will wait about 3 months before the final restoration of the tooth replacement. This may seem frustrating, but the healing period is very important to ensure that the dental implant procedure is a success.
You must allow time for the implant to integrate into the bone, so that it has the necessary strength to support its final restoration. The initial healing process takes 1 to 2 weeks. However, the implant must also “osseointegrate” with the jaw bone. This means that it fully adheres to the bone and becomes a natural part of the mouth.
This process can take 3 to 6 months or more, depending on your case. The time frame for placing the implant and replacement teeth can depend on many different factors. Placing a single implant can take about half an hour and, naturally, several implants will take longer. But it's important to remember that the whole process, from start to finish, can take several months.
During your first visit, the dentist will insert the implant into your jaw. It will be some time before you are ready to receive the crown. First of all, the jaw must heal around the pole, grow around it and secure it firmly. Naturally, this is not the work of a few weeks.
On average, it takes six to eight months for an implant to stabilize, but it can take even longer, especially if a bone graft is needed. Usually, several implants are placed and, a few hours later, an entire arch of temporary or permanent teeth can be fixed in place. You may also need to make several visits to the dentist over the next few weeks to adjust your teeth or temporary dentures and to be able to monitor the healing of the implant site. If you need more healing time or bone grafting treatment, be prepared for months of waiting before your post is even implanted.
A hole will be drilled in your jaw and your dentist or oral surgeon will implant the metal pole, which will replace the natural tooth root. In some cases, the first teeth placed on the implants are not the last, but rather a prototype of the planned design. After all of this, your dentist will still need to do an exam to make sure that you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Final replacement teeth are generally placed between three and nine months after the implants are placed.
Dr. Colin Neil of Stroud's Confident Dental Implant Center says: “In order to be able to attach teeth to implants on the same day, it's important that the implants have sufficient stability. In a simple case, many dentists will want to let the gum heal and allow the implant to fuse (osseointegrate) with the jawbone, before placing permanent replacement teeth. Once the abutment is secure, the new artificial crown can be placed and the dental implant process is complete.
Regular exams and hygiene appointments are important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, especially around implants. When the metal implant has been successfully attached to the jawbone, it's time to add an abutment to the top (if it wasn't done at the time the implant was placed) and place a crown on it.