When a patient loses a tooth (or teeth), it can be a traumatic experience. Their first concern might be covering up the gap in their smile as fast as possible. Luckily, oral surgeons can help get the patient on track for restoring their smile with the help of dental implants. While the dental implant procedure can span the course of several months, it all depends on the individual patient and the condition of their mouth.
The Length of Dental Implant Treatment
From start to finish, the entire dental implant process takes about five to eight months. This can vary from patient to patient, but in general, this timeline accounts for the three steps in the process.
- The first step is placing the implant, which is what takes the longest. The jawbone needs to heal after this step, which can take three to six months.
- Next comes the placement of the abutment, which requires our surgeons to cut through the gums. Salt Lake County patients will need to wait a few weeks after this appointment before their final crown can be placed to give the gums time to heal.
- Finally, the permanent crown can be placed, which completes the dental implant process.
Some patients may qualify for same-day implants or All-on-4 implants, which combine steps one and two of the process so patients can get their temporary crowns right away. However, they will still need to wait for their jaw to heal before getting the final crowns.
Circumstances That Can Delay Dental Implants
While the above timeline is an ideal scenario, there are a few things that could delay the process for dental implant patients. These include:
- Injury or trauma. If the patient lost their tooth because of an accident, they might need to wait until the area heals before their oral surgeon can begin the implants. Usually, this will not take more than a couple of months.
- Bone grafting. In some cases, patients will not have enough bone in the jaw to support a dental implant. If this is the case, they will need bone grafting to help build the jawbone back up. This may add an additional three to four months to the process.
- Wisdom tooth removal. If the patient requires a dental implant in the back of the jaw, but they still have their wisdom teeth, these teeth may need to be removed first to make room. If the wisdom teeth were impacted, the patient might even need bone grafting to help fill in the large cavity in the jaw. This will take several months.
- Gum disease or infection. If the patient’s teeth were lost due to gum disease or infection, this would need to be cleared up before the implants can be placed. Depending on how bad the scenario is, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Placement Today
While the process might take a while, dental implants are worth the wait.
To learn more or schedule your consultation, call Utah Facial & Oral Surgery in the Salt Lake and Utah County area today at (801) 446-4428 or visit an oral surgeon near you.