Dental implants require a multi-step process over an extended period. While the treatments themselves do not require large amounts of time, the healing process in between procedures can take months. The shortest time you can expect, from start to finish, is four to six months, but it is not uncommon to take over a year, depending on your situation.
Below is a breakdown of the time required for each procedure, along with estimated healing times between processes.
- Receiving dental implants involves a multi-step process.
- The treatments themselves are typically done in the dentist’s office, but the healing period required after each procedure adds months to the process.
- It is possible to complete the implant process within six months from start to finish. However, it is not uncommon to take a year or more.
The Initial Consultation – 1 Day
If you want to consider dental implants, the first step is a consultation with Dr. Hogan. The appointment itself typically lasts about an hour. During the initial consultation, he will take x-rays, and in some cases, 3D images to better understand your needs. He will also review your dental history, gain an understanding of your physical health, and discuss your long-term goals before recommending a course of action.
If you decide to proceed with dental implants, Dr. Hogan will discuss any recommended pre-surgical work that could improve the outcome, along with a general timeline. Even after the initial consultation, it is impossible to know exactly how long it will take you to receive implants because healing times vary widely.
Pre-surgical Work – 1 Week to 1 Year
It is not uncommon to require pre-surgical treatments before officially beginning the implant process. Pre-surgical work could include addressing an existing infection, extracting one or more teeth, bone smoothing (alveoloplasty), or restoring the jawbone through a bone graft.
The need for pre-surgical work could add anywhere from one to two weeks to a year.
Tooth infection: Treating a tooth infection with antibiotics can delay the implant by 7 to 10 days.
Tooth extraction: Dr. Hogan can sometimes set the implant the same day as the extraction. However, he in most cases he will recommend waiting 2 to 3 months to allow the area to heal completely in most cases. In some instances, healing can take up to six months.
Alveoloplasty (bone smoothing) is a common dental procedure that surgically smooths and recontours the jawbone ridge. It is frequently used in conjunction with a tooth extraction to improve the functionality or appearance of the jawbone.
The goal of the procedure is to create a smooth and rounded bone surface. When used after an extraction, it can improve and optimize the jawbone shape, increasing the success of future dental procedures, such as implants. It is especially valuable if you need more than one tooth extracted.
Dr. Hogan can perform the alveoloplasty procedure during the extraction or as a stand-alone procedure. According to the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Research, when performing alveoloplasty in conjunction with tooth extraction, the average healing period is 23 days.
Bone grafting is another standard procedure required prior to placing a dental implant. When you lose a tooth, bone degeneration begins immediately. Over time it can weaken the jawbone and surrounding tissue. A successful implant requires the bone to remain strong enough to support the titanium post that secures the new tooth in place.
When bone loss weakens the jawbone, grafting often becomes necessary to rebuild the bone tissue before Dr. Hogan can place the implant. Bone grafting can include procedures such as a sinus lift or ridge augmentation.
The bone grafting procedure involves transplanting new healthy bone tissue into the jawbone. The new bone fuses with the jawbone through the osseointegration process to create the support needed for the titanium post. If you require bone grafting, it will typically add three to six months to the process. However, in some cases, osseointegration can take up to a year.
The Implant Surgery – 1 Day
No-pre surgical procedures needed: If you do not require any pre-surgical treatments, you can typically schedule the dental implant surgery 1 to 2 weeks after the initial consultation.
Pre-surgical procedures required: If you need one or more pre-surgical treatments before the implant, you must wait for the mouth to heal after each procedure before proceeding with the implant.
The implant procedure: Typically, Dr. Hogan can complete the actual implant procedure in his office. The treatment typically takes one to two hours for each implant. It is often possible to return to work the next day.
Healing time Required for the implant – 3 to 6 Months
The dental implant procedure begins with the placement of a titanium post into the jawbone. The post serves as the root for the new tooth. The two most common procedures include a submerged or non-submerged titanium post. The chosen procedure impacts the healing time required.
Less commonly used, a non-submerged post heals faster, and Dr. Hogan can place the healing cap at the time of the implant.
Submerged implants are preferred by dentists and require the newly submerged titanium post to fuse with the surrounding bone through the osseointegration process. You can expect the healing period to be between three and six months, although, it is not uncommon for it to take a year or more.
The healing period will depend on both the condition and the health of the bone. Certain habits like using tobacco or drinking alcohol immediately after the implant can slow the healing process. On the other hand, eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest can speed up healing.
During the healing period, you will have follow-up visits with Dr. Hogan. He will monitor your healing and prepare you for the next steps. During these visits, Dr. Hogan will take impressions of your teeth and use x-rays and images of your teeth, gums, and the implant to monitor the healing process.
Placing the Abutment – 1 to 2 Weeks
Once the fusion process is complete, Dr. Hogan will schedule an appointment to place the custom abutment. This device connects the titanium post to the new crown and holds it securely in place. The procedure requires him to re-open the gums, which then must heal.
Placing the custom abutment occurs during an office visit. You can expect a healing time between one and two weeks before Dr. Hogan can set the crown.
Setting the Crown – 1 Day
The crown is the tooth’s visible part. Dr. Hogan uses the teeth impressions to match the size and shape of the new tooth, so it fits perfectly within your existing structure. He will also match the color with your natural teeth, restoring your smile.
After placing the crown, the new tooth will look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.
You can expect a couple of follow-up visits to ensure the procedure was successful.
While it takes longer to complete, dental implants are the longest lasting solution for tooth loss. With the proper care and maintenance of your dental implants, they may last the rest of your life. It provides a replacement tooth that functions like your natural teeth allowing you to eat and talk normally. There is a high satisfaction level among those receiving implants, with studies showing a success rate of over 98%.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Procedure Take?
Dental implants require a multi-step process. It is not uncommon to take up to a year from start to finish. You may complete the process in as little as three to six months if you do not need any pre-surgical work and you experience fast healing times.
How long does the implant procedure take?
Dental implants are usually an outpatient surgery that typically requires between one and two hours for each tooth. After placing the titanium post, you must wait until the gums heal before placing the abutment and crown.
When can I eat after dental implant surgery?
You must eat soft foods for the first week and gradually add your favorite foods to your diet. Typically, you can return to your regular diet after about a week.
Call for an Appointment
If you are ready to explore ways to rejuvenate your smile, or you just need a cleaning and x-rays, call today for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kevin Hogan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has over 40 years of experience. He completed continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned comprehensive and aesthetic dentistry center. He has also finished extensive coursework with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and lectured at both North Carolina and Emory University.
He is known for his artistic skill, professionalism, and ability to find the right solution for an array of dental challenges. Dr. Kevin Hogan is a cosmetic and restorative dentist serving patients in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and the greater Charleston, SC areas.