You’ve researched dentists in the area and are finally ready to move forward with dental implants. While you might have the first dentist once an appointment is scheduled, there might still be some confusion about this process.
You know that this is not a one appointment procedure, but what really is the timeline of a dental implant from start to finish? Read on for a basic dental implant schedule and what to expect for the entire procedure.
From start to finish
A dental implant will take a few months to complete, even up to a year from the very rst appointment to the last. Here is a common breakdown of the appointment schedule, including healing times:
- Consultation appointment – This is with the dentist who will be performing the procedure. It is a time to discuss the reason for the implant and the goals, the basic process, and different options to reach your goal. Your dentist should answer any of your questions as he shares an overview of the process. You will also discuss temporary teeth while your mouth is healing, so you don’t have to go without a tooth.
- First surgical appointment – This can come very shortly after your consultation, depending on the schedules of you and your dentist. At this appointment in the dentist’s once, small incisions will be made in the gums, and the dentist will surgically place the dental implant.
Healing time – You will need to wait around 4 – 6 months for the implant to fuse to the jawbone. This also gives the incision time to heal, though this doesn’t take very long.
- The second appointment – At this appointment, the connector will be attached directly to the implant. This is what the restorative piece (the tooth) will be attached to later.
Healing time – You will need to wait usually around three weeks after the connector is placed for healing before the next appointment.
- The third appointment – At this final appointment, the restorative piece is placed on the connector. It is now a permanent fixture in your mouth and should last a lifetime, acting just like a natural tooth.
Final check – Many dentists like to see you back in a few weeks to make sure everything looks and feels good. They may need to take out some stitches as well depending on what kind they used.
If you need a bone graft
Some people need some bone grafting done if there is a question of whether their jaw bone will be strong enough to support the implant. If this is the case, you may need an extra appointment and work before the implant is placed. This will extend the total time of the procedure. The condition of your jaw will dictate if you need a bone graft and how extensive the work will be (mayoclinic.org).
Worth the time
Though this procedure takes a long time from start to finish, dental implants have a very high success rate and can save the integrity of your mouth for lifelong health.
Speak to your dentist or call us at Watkin Dental Associates. We are here to help and make this experience a comfortable and positive one for you with a successful end result.