Did you know that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Missing a tooth can take a large toll on your self-esteem and it can also negatively affect your dental health. Fortunately, you can fix the problem with a simple dental implant.
But how long does dental implant surgery take exactly, you might ask? What should you expect from this surgery and what will the results look like? Keep reading and learn more about this procedure with this dental implant guide.
How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take
Before you get dental implants, your dentist will need to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implants. This is important because implants need to be drilled into your jaw bone. If your jaw bone is too weak or thin, you won’t be able to get implants.
However, if you get a bone graft and the procedure goes well, you will likely be able to get implants after that. A bone graft involves taking a piece of bone from another part of your body and grafting it to your jaw where it will grow and make your jaw stronger. However, you will need to heal for several months before you can get your implants.
Once it is time to get the implants, the procedure will start by inserting a metal post into your jaw bone. The metal post is usually made of titanium or surgical steel since these metals should not irritate the mouth. The metal post is perhaps the most important part of the implant because it anchors the abutments and the crown (false tooth) to your mouth.
Your surgeon will need to cut through your gums to reach the jaw bone and then drill into the jaw bone to insert the metal post. The entire surgery will take between one and two hours for one dental implant. Of course, if you plan on getting more than one implant, this will increase the surgery time and also the dental implant costs.
Once the surgery is done, you can go home and start recovering. Unfortunately, the recovery time for dental implants is quite long and usually takes a few months. You will need to take good care of the treated area during this time.
Keeping it clean and avoiding foods that would irritate it will keep infections at bay. Swelling and discomfort in the treated area are normal, especially after the first few days of surgery. Within a few weeks, the majority of the pain and swelling should go down, especially with the use of pain medications and ice packs.
The recovery process is arguably as important as the surgery itself. If the area doesn’t heal well, you might have trouble getting the rest of your dental implant. After about 3 months, you should find that the metal post has healed well in your mouth.
Your jaw bone should have grown around the metal post and sealed it in place. Then, you can go in for your next appointment.
Getting the Rest of Your Dental Implant
The next steps involve getting your abutment and dental crown for your implant. The good thing about your next appointment to get the abutment is that it is nowhere near as invasive as the first appointment. An abutment is a simple device that acts to protect the metal post from the dental crown.
It is somewhat soft and cushion-like for this purpose. To get the dental abutment, your dentist will again need to cut into your gums. This will expose the implant post and make it easier to attach the abutment.
Keep in mind that the procedure, as with the previous procedure, should not hurt as the surgeon will give you some anesthesia to numb the treatment area. Once the abutment is in place, you will be ready to get the artificial dental crown.
The crown will have been made beforehand. It usually takes a few weeks to craft this kind of crown. This is because your dentist will have already taken some scans of your teeth.
That way, when the crown is made, it will look just like your other teeth. So, the final product will not only look like a real tooth but it will look precisely like the rest of your own teeth. This is important because people tend to have very different tooth shapes, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all dental crown.
If you got a crown that wasn’t made especially for you, it would likely look quite strange. Getting the abutment and crown shouldn’t take long at all, usually taking around an hour or so. The entire period of time required to get a dental implant will depend on various factors.
For example, if you need to get a bone graft first, this will add several months to the procedure. In general, the entire process will take you about 6 months or so. This might seem like a long time, but many people who have gotten dental implants in the past find that the time is worth it.
Dental implants are not only very realistic in appearance but they are also very durable.
What You Need to Know About Dental Implant Surgery
How long does dental implant surgery take, you might ask? First, getting the metal post will take 2 hours or so, and then you will need to recover for about three months. Then, you will need to get an abutment and a crown which are both short procedures but they usually take place two weeks apart. Only then will you have your finished implant.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us here.