The Dental Implant Process
There are two main methods for installing dental implants. The only real difference is how long each takes.
Most dentists today prefer the immediate implant method. Expect it to take several visits over a four- to six-month period. The time required varies based on healing time.
At the first visit, the tooth is removed (if necessary). Also, a bone graft may be required. During the same visit, the dentist makes an incision in the gums and then screws the implant into the jawbone. Finally, the dentist covers the implant with gum tissue and closes the incision.
At the follow-up visit a week later, your doctor assesses healing and removes the sutures used to close the incision. The entire healing process takes between three and six months. During this time, the implant integrates with the jawbone. Once healing is complete, your dentist makes a new incision and attaches an abutment to the implant. Next, your provider creates a mold or impression of the abutment and surrounding teeth. This goes to the lab, which uses it to make the crown. The final step is fitting the new tooth to the implant.
Conventional implants take nine to 12 months from start to finish. The main difference is that the doctor sends the patient home to heal after performing the extraction and bone graft. After three to six months, the patient returns to have the implant installed. From there, the conventional method matches the immediate timeline.