How long do Dental Implant treatments take?

Dental Implants are a straightforward treatment option that provide a natural-looking solution to the issue of missing teeth. Consisting of a titanium root and ceramic crown, dental implants allow you to talk, eat and smile as you normally would. Having a dental implant fitted involves a number of important stages before the final result is achieved and we have outlined these for you below. So how long do dental implant treatments take?

In this blog post, we will break down the different stages of having dental implants fitted. We will also look at the variables that can affect the timescale of the process and the factors that you will need to take into consideration before deciding to go ahead with this type of treatment.

While the titanium dental implants used today are a relatively new invention, the practice of replacing missing teeth has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese civilizations have been discovered with carved bamboo pegs embedded in their mouths as a replacement for teeth.

Dental implants are not just a way to achieve a more complete smile. If you are missing a tooth your jawbone will not receive the stimulation it needs and the bone could reduce, having a gap could cause the surrounding teeth to move and become misaligned.

Treatment Process

Despite all our treatment plans being tailored to the needs of individual patients, there are certain stages that every dental implant patient will experience:

  • Consultation
  • Surgery
  • Healing
  • Crown Fitting

These four key stages are the essential roadmap to your dream smile and will influence how long your dental implant treatment takes.

Although dental implants are a very common option to replace missing teeth offering excellent and long-lasting results, the treatment can take anywhere between 3-15 months allowing for all the stages outlined above.

Consultation

As with all dental treatments, an initial consultation with one of our experienced and professional team is the first port of call. During this consultation, you will be able to discuss any concerns or worries you may have about your oral health, the stages of treatment, what you can expect throughout the process and the results you hope to achieve.

Once it has been decided that dental implants are the best treatment option for you, you will be booked in for another consultation with our resident Implantologist, Dr Simon Martin.

During your consultation with Simon, the process will be explained to you in great detail. At Revitalise Dental Centre, we believe that our patients should be in control of their dental implant treatments.

We work hard to help every patient feel comfortable and relaxed by talking through every aspect of their treatment. Everything from the different stages and cost options to aftercare can be discussed and will allow you to make informed decisions about your care. Understanding how long dental implant treatments can take is essential and it’s important to remember that although the process can offer incredible results it is not a quick fix.

The next stage of the treatment is a CT scan allowing our team to assess what type of dental implant would best suit your needs, your lifestyle and the results you want to achieve.

The CT scan will also enable us to see if there are any underlying issues that need to be addressed before treatment, such as gum disease and the density of your jawbone.

Simon will then assess the results of your scan and suggest which of the three types of dental implants will provide you with the optimum result.

Using advanced technology, we will create a custom mold of your teeth so that your crown matches the shape and size of your teeth perfectly.

By creating a bespoke crown, colour matched to your natural teeth, we can ensure that your smile looks as natural and beautiful as possible.

Surgery

If, after your initial consultation, you decided to go ahead with the treatment, the next step will be undergoing dental surgery. There are different stages to the surgery part of the process that can affect how long a dental implant treatment takes. If still present, the damaged tooth will first need to be removed. During your pre-surgery consultation, your dental practitioner will assess your entire jawbone paying close attention to the area where the implant will be placed. In some cases, a bone graft may be required to strengthen this part of your jaw.

When it has been determined that the jawbone is strong enough, the titanium root will be surgically embedded. You will be given a local anaesthetic during the surgery to numb your mouth. Even though you will be awake throughout the procedure, you will not be able to feel anything. To help alleviate any anxiety you have around the procedure, you can opt to have conscious sedation and you can discuss this with your practitioner in your pre-surgery assessment.

An incision will be made in your gum to expose the jawbone beneath. A small hole will be made into your jawbone to allow for the titanium root to be inserted to the same depth as the root of a natural tooth. The abutment, the internal screw which your crown will be attached to, is then placed into the titanium root. Once your dentist is happy that it is placed correctly and is comfortable for you, the gum will then be stitched up to close the incision and start the healing process.

The surgery to implant one titanium root takes between 1-2 hours so naturally the more implants you have fitted, the longer the surgery will take.

It is important to note that if you have sedation you will not be able to drive immediately afterwards. You should bring someone with you who can drive you home safely.

Healing

You will not have your dental crown fitted during the same appointment as having the titanium root implanted. Osseointegration must occur first, which is the process of the jawbone fusing with the titanium root. The reason that titanium is the preferred material for artificial roots is because of its natural properties, which offer a high success rate of osseointegration.

The process of osseointegration was first discovered in 1952 when an orthopaedic surgeon was unable to remove a titanium cylinder that had been placed in the femur bone of a rabbit. The bone was discovered to have fused so tightly with the titanium cylinder that it was providing a sturdy replacement for bone loss. Further studies were conducted and in 1965 the first titanium dental implant was placed into a live human volunteer.

The process and timescale for healing is different for every patient who undergoes a dental implant treatment.

Typically, a single tooth implant will take 6-12 weeks to heal completely. During this time, your new artificial tooth root will fuse with your jawbone and become stronger. Eventually, it will be strong enough to provide a solid base for an artificial tooth to be fitted.

We understand that some people may feel self-conscious being left with a gap or the abutment showing. Here at Revitalise, we ensure that all of our dental implant patients are not left with a space in their smile during the healing process.

So, while you wait for your new titanium root to fuse with your jawbone, you will be fitted with a temporary solution to replace your missing tooth. You will need to practice good oral hygiene and look after your temporary tooth replacement making sure to keep the area clean and avoid any infections that could impede the progress of your treatment.

Crown Fitting

Once the osseointegration process is complete and your dentist is happy that your gums have healed properly, your new tooth will be created and fitted.

Using state of the art technology and with the help of our onsite laboratory, a custom mold will be created of your mouth. This mold will allow our dental technicians to create an artificial tooth that perfectly fits the shape and size of your natural teeth. This bespoke crown will be created to fit comfortably and seamlessly into the gap left by the missing tooth, colour matching it to your natural teeth and helping to create a beautiful smile.

Once you have been fitted with your new custom crown, your dental practitioner will talk you through how to properly care for your new tooth replacement. It is important to attend regular check-ups and hygienist appointments to help look after your new implant, just as you would for your natural teeth.

Other Factors to Consider

How long dental implant treatments take depends on the clinical situation of each individual patient. While a standard dental implant treatment can take between 3 – 15 months, you may need additional surgical procedures or treatments which can extend how long your dental implant treatment takes.

Tooth Removal

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth and fill the gap left behind in a patient’s mouth. Normally, the tooth will already have been removed, either by falling out or removed by a dentist. There may be some instances though when you will need to have a tooth removed before you can have your dental implant created and fitted.

The two main reasons why a person may undergo a tooth extraction is to remove an infected or non-vital tooth. If one of your teeth becomes infected, and other treatments such as a root canal cannot save it, it will need to be removed. This is to stop the infection spreading to your other teeth or even other areas of your body.

A non-vital or ‘dead’ tooth is a tooth that is no longer connected to a blood supply, causing the nerves to die off over time. If you were to leave a dead tooth in your gums, it is likely that you will begin to suffer from toothache and discomfort. You may also start to develop an abscess. Waiting for this to happen before having the tooth removed could damage your oral health further.

The longer you have a missing tooth and a gap in your mouth, the more bone loss you are likely experience. If your bone is not dense enough to hold the implant securely, you may have to undergo a bone graft to strengthen your jaw.

Bone Graft

A bone graft is a procedure that replaces bone lost from your jaw. There are many reasons why you may experience bone loss in your jaw. It can sometimes be down to an accident, having a tooth injured or knocked out. It could also be the result of infection or gum disease.

A common reason why people experience bone loss in their jaw is that they do not replace missing teeth. When you bite or chew something, your jawbone receives stimulation from your teeth. This is similar to lifting weights or doing push-ups to improve and strengthen the muscles in your arms. Your jaw needs regular exercise to stay healthy. If you leave a gap in your mouth after having a tooth removed, your jawbone is losing out on that crucial stimulation.

If you do have low bone density in your jaw, you may need to undergo a bone graft to make the area strong and stable enough to hold the implant in place. There are several places that bone can be acquired from to improve your jaw’s strength:

  • Bovine – de-mineralised cow bone, which is the most commonly used.
  • Synthetic – man-made particulate, suitable for vegans.
  • Allograft – the patient’s own bone.

After receiving a bone graft, you will need to undergo a healing period before having your titanium implant fitted. Just like having the titanium root fitted, the bone that was placed in your jaw needs time to fuse to your natural bone. This process can take several months and will certainly increase how long your dental implant treatment takes.

If you have been told that you do not have the right amount of bone, there is a possible alternative to a bone graft. Here at Revitalise we use “CopaSky” implants which have been specifically designed for patients with low bone density.

Other Treatments

During your initial consultation, your overall oral health will be assessed to see if you are a good candidate for dental implant treatment.

If you have any underlying oral health issues, such as gum disease, then you will need to get that resolved first. This is so that your gums are as healthy as possible before the implant is fitted, therefore improving the chances of a successful procedure.

The severity of any gum disease will impact how long it takes to treat. This in turn will affect how long your dental implant treatment takes. If you do not ensure that your gums are healthy before having dental implants fitted, it could cause you additional problems later on.

As we outlined earlier, if you wish to have overall whiter teeth, then you will need to undergo a tooth whitening process on your natural teeth before having your new crown fitted. This is because dental crowns are made from ceramic and cannot be whitened once placed onto the titanium root and abutment.

During your consultation, mention to your dental practitioner that you wish to have your teeth whitened and they will be able to advise on the best way to achieve your dream smile.

Find Out More

There is no definitive answer to the question of how long do dental implant treatments take. All of our treatments at Revitalise Dental Centre are bespoke and tailored to the needs of each individual patient. If you require the replacement of a single missing tooth using a dental implant, then you can expect the whole process to take around 12 weeks. More implants and additional treatments add to the final treatment time; but we will always help you to progress through the treatment at your own pace.

If you are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth, we have a free dental implant download guide available. This guide will provide you with more information about the dental implant treatments available, the stages to expect and what the benefits of having dental implants are.

Call our team on 01872 555 911 to discuss the dental implant treatments we offer and book your initial consultation. You can also send an email to hello@revitalisedentalcentre.co.uk and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

About the author

Author

Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services. World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him. Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry.

Connect with Jason Smithson on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”


Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”


Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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