If you are considering dental implants, one of your likely concerns is how long will it take to get your new tooth or teeth?

It could take as little as one day but it all depends on your oral health and other factors. Let us explain.

Time Before You Get Your Dental Implants

At your first appointment, we’ll perform an examination to evaluate two things: the health of your gums and the amount of bone you have to support your implants.

If you’re experiencing gum disease, we’ll treat it before placing your implant. With treatment, your implants start healthy and are likely to succeed. We’ll examine your gums and give you an accurate picture of how long treating your gum disease might take.

Dental implants are supported by your jaw bone, similar to natural teeth. Before we place dental implants, we also have to make sure that you have enough bone to support them. If you don’t have enough bone, we will perform a bone graft. Bone grafts take time to heal, so it might be a few months before the new bone is ready to support your dental implants. The typical healing time for a patient with healthy gums is 3 – 6 months. For patients with a history of periodontal disease or smoking cigarettes, the healing time extends to 6 – 12 months.

Time After You Get Your Dental Implants

senior woman showing off her natural looking smile with dental implants

A dental implant is technically the artificial root that supports your replacement tooth. It doesn’t take long to place a dental implant, sometimes less than an hour for a single implant.

When we place a dental implant, we want to ensure it’s secure enough to support the restoration (the visible part of your tooth). If it is, then we can place a restoration that day. This is typically a temporary dental crown or bridge, and you’ll wear it while your implant or implants heal.

Sometimes, though, the implant isn’t secure enough to place the dental bridge or crown right away. In that case, we cover the implant over with your gums and let it heal. After about three months, we uncover the implant and check on its stability. Next, we’ll place an abutment or healing cap to help your gums heal around the space for the new restoration. That can take a couple of weeks. Then we place your restoration on the implant.

If the implant is not stable enough at three months, we give it more time to heal. Some implants may take up to six months to fully integrate into your jaw.

Summary: Timetables for Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

After your initial consultation, we will schedule your dental implant procedure. Here’s a breakdown of the timeline of that procedure’s best- and worst-case scenarios.

Shortest Dental Implant Timeline:

Healthy gums and bone: immediate implant(s) (1 day) + stable implant(s): immediate restorations (same day) = Total time to implants 1 day

Longest Dental Implant Timeline:

Gum disease treatment (3 months) + Bone graft (3 months) + implant healing (6 months) = Total time to implants 1 year

We will let you know where you’ll likely fall during your consultation. Then you can make plans for dental implants on your timetable.

Closing Gaps While You Wait for Dental Implants

In some cases, you might have to wait a long time before your dental implant procedure is complete. Does this mean you will need to have a gap in your smile for all that time? Not at all. Even if you have to wait for dental implants, we have solutions to give you a complete smile while you wait.

The simplest solution is a denture. Wearing a temporary denture while your dental implants heal is an inexpensive way to close the gap between your teeth.

Another possible solution is a clear retainer–similar to an Invisalign aligner–with a tooth or teeth in it that takes the place of the ones you’re missing. You wear this retainer most of the time, only taking it out for eating or cleaning your teeth.

Another possible solution is a temporary bridge, sometimes called a Maryland bridge. While standard dental bridges secure to dental crowns on your teeth, this type of bridge has “wings” on either side of the replacement tooth—these bond to the back of your natural teeth to secure the bridge without modifying your natural teeth.

Are You Considering Dental Implants in Butler, PA?

If you have one or more missing teeth and are considering dental implants in Butler, PA, let implant dentist Dr. Bob Fornalczyk answer your questions. Please call (724) 282-4436 or use our online contact form to request a dental implant consultation at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.