One question we often hear is how long a dental implant in Spring takes. Giving a standard answer to this question is difficult, since every patient’s situation is unique. In some cases the initial procedure can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. Total treatment times can vary depending on the condition of the underlying jawbone and the number of teeth that need restoring.
How the Dental Implant Process Works
The journey towards receiving dental implants begins with a trip to your implant dentist. He or she will perform a complete oral examination and assess the condition of your existing teeth and gums.
After the exam is complete, you and your dentist can discuss restoration options. If the two of you agree that dental implants are the right solution in your case, then the next step is to schedule an appointment for the initial procedure.
Dental implants draw their strength from the fact that each is secured by a small titanium filament that’s embedded in the patient’s jaw. The number of filaments needed to complete treatment can vary from one to more than six.
Placing a single unit can typically be done in under an hour, sometimes as little as 30 minutes. Multiple filaments may require a few hours. You will receive anesthetic, and, if desired, sedatives to make this step of the process gentle and comfortable for you.
Once this step is complete, healing typically takes 3-4 months.
During the second procedure your dentist will either place the restoration itself or an adjoining piece of hardware called an abutment. The final restoration can take one of three forms:
- A separate crown for each restored tooth. This approach is typically reserved for those who are only missing a few teeth.
- An implant-supported bridge that restores multiple teeth all at once. You may have heard the terms “all on four” or “all on six” used to refer to this option.
- An implant-supported denture that spans the entire jaw. This is the preferred method for patients dealing with extensive tooth loss. It may require extracting the remaining natural teeth. However, the final result is a beautiful restoration of the patient’s smile.
Special Circumstances That Can Affect the Length of Treatment
Some implant patients may require grafts to correct jaw bone loss before they’re able to proceed with the implant process. This is especially likely if the person has used illicit drugs in the past, has worn traditional dentures, or suffers from health problems related to a chronic condition such as cancer or diabetes.
Enjoying the most benefit from implants means following reasonable self-care steps such as regular exercise, eating a sensible diet, and minimizing the effects of stress in your life. Your dentist will discuss these facts with you during your upcoming appointment.
Dental implants are an investment, one which pays rich rewards over time. Think of them in that way as you evaluate your smile restoration options. The time and effort you put forth will more than pay for themselves with better health and a more fulfilling life.
About the Author
Dr. Clifton Baldwin has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years. He earned his dental degree from UT Dental School-Houston Branch in 1984 and keeps his skills sharp through ongoing training. You can reach his office online or by calling (281) 893-4746.