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How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?

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Dental implant surgery is an effective solution for restoring missing teeth and improving your bite and tooth functionality. 

Implants are a major permanent procedure requiring multiple surgeries and appointments. The exact time commitment varies from person to person and depends on factors like your bone health, the number of implants you need, and the surgical techniques used. 

Your dentist can help you navigate the process and provide you with all the information you need so you can make an informed decision. It all starts with an oral exam and a conversation.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium or titanium alloys that are surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gums. These implants provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth or dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. 

Dental implants fill in the gaps left by missing teeth, help preserve natural tooth tissue, and play a role in preventing the shifting of surrounding teeth to maintain your jawbone’s density, supporting your long-term oral health.

Understanding Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery is a multi-step process:

  • First, your dental surgeon embeds the implant into the jawbone, where it fuses with the bone over a few months in a process called osseointegration. This fusion creates a strong and durable base for the replacement tooth or teeth.
  • Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, an abutment (a connector post) is attached to the implant. The abutment protrudes from the gum line and serves as the anchor for the artificial tooth or dental appliance.
  • Finally, a custom-made artificial tooth, crown, bridge, or denture is securely attached to the abutment, creating a natural-looking and functional tooth replacement that blends seamlessly with your surrounding teeth.

Pre-Surgery Evaluation & Treatment Plan

Before the surgery, you’ll need a comprehensive evaluation. This phase involves the dental exam, X-rays, and discussions about your overall health. 

Your dentist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. This includes decisions about the number of implants you need, the type of implants that may work best for you, and the overall surgical approach. 

Treatment planning is critical to help ensure the implant procedure aligns with your needs. The time required for assessment and planning varies, but it lays the foundation for a successful implant procedure.

Dental Implant Surgery Steps

The implant operations are often performed in a series of sessions spaced several months apart, generally 3 to 9 months. And each step of the process takes a certain amount of time.

  • The surgical placement of a single dental implant can take around 1–2 hours but varies depending on the number of implants being placed and the complexity of the procedure. For more straightforward cases, it can take less time, while complex cases or multiple implants may require a longer surgical session.
  • After implant placement, a healing period is needed for osseointegration, which can take 3 to 6 months or longer.
  • The abutment is fitted to the implant during a minor surgical procedure. This step can usually be done quickly, often in one appointment, and might take around 30 minutes to an hour.
  • The process of fitting and placing the final restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture, can take a couple of visits, depending on the type of restoration and the adjustments needed for proper fit and alignment.

Bone Density & Health

The quality and density of your jawbone play a critical role in the success of dental implant surgery. Insufficient bone density or bone volume in the jaw can pose challenges for implant placement, affecting the overall duration of the procedure.

When the jawbone lacks the necessary strength or volume to support an implant, additional procedures like bone grafting may be needed. Bone grafting involves adding bone material to the deficient area, enhancing its density, and providing a more stable foundation for the implant.

These preparatory steps contribute to improving bone quality and quantity. But they can also extend the overall timeline of the dental implant process.

Number of Implants

More implants mean a longer surgery. One implant is quick, but doing a full-mouth reconstruction with many implants takes more time because it’s more complex to place them all just right.

Surgical Technique

The chosen surgical technique also affects how long the procedure will take. Standard implant surgery might take longer than advanced techniques like guided implant surgery. The chosen approach can affect the time spent in the dental chair.

The Healing Period

After your implants are placed, your body needs time to heal and allow them to integrate with the jawbone. Osseointegration can take several weeks to a few months but is crucial for the procedure’s success.

Follow-Up Appointments

Post-surgery follow-up appointments are essential for monitoring the healing progress and ensuring the implants are integrating correctly. These appointments contribute to the overall timeline of the dental implant journey.

A young woman sitting in a dental chair and pointing to something displayed on a tablet as her dentist holds the tablet and smiles.

Navigating the Timeframe of Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery is not a quick process. It requires time, patience, and expertise. However, the results of dental implant surgery can improve your oral health and improve the functionality of your teeth and bite.Our dental team at Fairlawn Dental Centre offers personalized approaches to dental healthcare. We can provide insights and information for your dental implant journey, and guide you through the entire process. Book your appointment today!

Dr. Ferhana Jaleel

Written by Dr. Ferhana Jaleel

As a dentist in the Ottawa area Dr. Ferhana Jaleel has been practicing full-time general dentistry over 25 years and expertly cares for patients of all ages.

To ensure that she provides patients with the best quality and most advanced care, she continually upgrades her knowledge and skills. This continued education covers topics on cosmetic and reconstructive periodontal surgery, aesthetics including Lumineers®, orthodontics, Invisalign®, placement and restoration of dental implants, and many others.

More Articles By Dr. Ferhana Jaleel

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