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Dental Implant Procedure Explained: Your Step-By-Step Guide

Thinking about dental implant surgery? If you’ve got a missing tooth or missing teeth, a dental implant procedure can be a great way to restore your smile and give you back your confidence.

We always get a lot of questions from patients related to dental implants, so we thought ‘why not write a blog post!’. We’re going to break down the process for you and answer some of the more common questions. 

This type of surgery is a two-phase process. The first stage involves placing the implant into your jawbone underneath the gum tissue before stitching it back in place leaving a healing collar in place. As that gum tissue heals, the tooth implant will bond with the bone and attach itself to your bone securely. This step of the process can take several months, so you’ll have to be patient! 

The second stage happens once your tissue has healed. Your dentist will remove the healing collar and then attach an abutment (a post connecting the replacement tooth to the implant). Your dentist will then take the artificial tooth they created and attach it to the abutment. It’s important to note that sometimes this requires multiple appointments to ensure the proper fit. 

stages_of_implant

Stages of dental implants

 

How long is the process of getting dental implants?

As we mentioned above, it’s a two-step process which means you’ll need to be patient. Good things are worth waiting for! The first phase usually takes around 1-2 hours for each implant your dentist has to place, so it really varies based on individual needs. Someone who needs 4 implants is going to take a lot longer than someone who only needs 1. Then there’s the waiting time while it attaches to your bone. That could be up to 3 months (or more). Sounds like a long time, but the healing period is super important in ensuring the success of your tooth implant. The second phase of implants is a lot less invasive, so the amount of time needed there is a lot less than upfront. All in all, you should be ready for a process that takes several months from start to finish. Looking for a more accurate timeline based on your needs? Make an appointment with your dentist – they’ll be best suited to estimate the time. At Advanced Dental Arts, we offer complimentary consultations.

How long do they take to heal?

Honestly, it varies so much from person to person it’s hard to say what your specific case will be. That said, on average you’re looking at 6-8 months of a recovery period to be ‘fully healed’. In some cases that can be even longer depending on what issues lead you to dental implants in the first place, and any additions that your surgery had (such as bone grafts). Want to reduce the healing time? Proper care (regular cleaning, checkups, and avoiding things like hard candy, tobacco, and caffeine) is a great way to reduce the amount of time it takes to recover from dental implant surgery. We find most patients go to work the next day, or even the same day, as their procedure. 

What are common post-dental implant procedure concerns?

There are some typical discomforts you should be aware of when it comes to this type of surgery. That includes:

  • Swelling of your face and gums
  • Bruising of your skin and or gums
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Minor bleeding

If you’re experiencing pain, over-the-counter medications are often able to help manage it, and some may require antibiotics. If you experience any of the above and notice it getting worse over time please make sure to contact your dentist or oral surgeon.

Hopefully this helps give you a good idea of what you can expect. If you’re looking for more detailed information, you can request our free no-obligation guide to dental implants where we dive into more detail or come in for a free consultation. We’re here to help!