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Understanding the Procedure – How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take

A woman dentist working on a patient

If you need to have your teeth fixed, but you’re not exactly a fan of dental procedures, the question of how long does dental implant surgery take must have crossed your mind. For those with dental anxiety, just knowing how long they need to be in the dental chair helps. Everyone knows it’s a bit of a lengthy process, so here’s exactly how long dental implant surgery takes.

What Are Dental Implants?

Before we get into how long does a dental implant surgery take, you need to know what implants even are in order to understand that it’s a complicated procedure that requires quite a bit of time. Dental implants are screw-like posts, designed to replace the root of a missing tooth. Once they are positioned, a dental crown is screwed one, serving as a visible replacement in your mouth. Even though they are artificial teeth, their main benefit is that they look and act as closely to natural teeth as possible. They are implanted into the jawbone, resembling the tooth’s root.

The implant is incredibly durable and stable – it doesn’t shift, fall out, or move in any way since it’s placed directly in the jawbone, underneath the gum tissue. The crown itself, the artificial tooth connected to the implant by an abutment, is made out of very durable materials, most likely porcelain, and they can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years or even a lifetime if done properly. Dental implants are the best teeth-replacement option out there, and they are one of the most popular and sought-after dental procedures in the industry.

How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work?

How is it possible to put in an artificial tooth that is supposed to stay in place for decades? How does dental implant surgery work? Do they just screw a new tooth into your jaw? Well, it might sound a bit strange, but that’s basically the gist of it. Once some preparatory procedures like grafting are done, the dentist will make an incision deep into your gum tissue, revealing the bone.

Then, they will drill holes directly into the jawbone where the implant is supposed to be placed. Once the holes are in place, the dentist will carefully place the implant deep into the bone, making sure it’s secured properly. Once the entire structure heals, the crown is attached to the implant by an abutment, and that’s it – you can flaunt your new, healthy smile.

Dr. Sladjana Bjelac, a dentist in Charlotte, NC, showing a patient a teeth scan
Dental implants are the most effective and long-term way to replace missing teeth

How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?

Now that you’re somewhat familiar with how the procedure works, it’s time to answer the main question – how long does full dental implant surgery take? First of all, we need to preface this by saying that the duration of the surgery depends on the type of dental implant you need to get. Replacing 5 teeth or a full set takes far longer than replacing a single missing tooth.

However, even if you need to fix a single tooth, you’re still looking at a process that lasts a couple of months. Why? Because, as mentioned before, once the implant is placed into the holes in your jaw, it needs some time to heal properly.

The entire process of putting in dental implants is made out of several separate procedures – putting in the implant, then fixing the abutment into place, and finally placing the crown on top. Let’s see how long each of these steps last.

Step 1 – Putting In the Implant

The procedure of putting in the implant itself is a relatively quick outpatient procedure that takes anywhere from half an hour to an hour or more per implant. So, if you need a dental bridge (at least two consecutive teeth), the procedure will last anywhere from an hour to three hours. In case you need a full set of dental implants, prepare to spend up to 4 hours or more in the dental chair.

Your bone and gum tissue need to grow and heal around the implant in order to secure it in place and create a solid foundation for the crown. This part is called osseointegration, and it can last anywhere from six weeks to six months. During this phase of the process, you will have an empty space where your tooth needs to be, but you can have some temporary dentures put in if you’re concerned about aesthetics.

Step 2 – Securing the Abutment into Place

Once those few months have passed and the stage of osseointegration is complete, your implant site will have healed properly and will be ready for the next step – placing the abutment that connects the crown and implant. In some cases, the abutment will be placed at the same time as the implant, but most dentists prefer to do it in a separate procedure.

This procedure is also an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia, it involves cutting into the gum tissues and placing the abutment into the implant, and it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per abutment. Once the abutments are in place, the surgical site needs to heal for at least two weeks, so the gum tissue unites with the abutment.

Final Step – Placing the Crown on Top

Once both the implant and the abutment are in place and the wounds have healed, it’s time for the final step – placing the crown on top of the abutment. This is the least invasive procedure so far, and it causes minimal discomfort.

After making sure the crowns are a perfect fit and color, the dentist will numb the surgical site with a local anesthetic, and place the crowns onto the abutments. Each crown will be secured into place with either cement or dental adhesive, and the entire process is relatively quick – around half an hour per crown.

Dentist showing a patient a model of teeth with a dental implant
Dental implant surgery consists of several procedures and takes a few months

Time Flies by in Aspire Dental Wellness – Contact Us and Schedule Your Appointment with Our Charlotte, NC, Dentist

When you’re in the right hands, time goes by much faster. So, contact us and schedule your dental implant surgery with Dr. Sladjana Bjelac at Aspire Dental Wellness. Our team will address any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure itself, including its duration.

Our Charlotte dentist in SouthPark will make sure to perform the procedure as quickly and efficiently as possible, not only minimizing the time you’ll have to spend in the dental chair but also minimizing any chances of complications down the line. We believe in holistic dentistry, which means we also take care of your overall well-being, and our goal is to provide you with both a stress-free experience and the perfect, dazzling smile.

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