How long does it take to have a dental implant placed? It depends on a number of factors, particularly how many implants you are having placed. A single implant may take 30 minutes to an hour. Multiple implants will require closer to two or three hours.
Before your surgery begins, you may receive anesthesia or IV sedation, potentially coupled with nitrous oxide. These sedation options not only prevent pain and discomfort, but also help prevent any anxiety before the procedure begins.
Once you are comfortably sedated, your oral surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue, revealing underlying bone tissue. Specialized instruments are used to create space and insert the implant, which is really a very small titanium screw. Often, the top of the implant will be visible through the gum tissue.
Healing After Dental Implant Surgery
Once your dental implant has been placed, you will need to allow plenty of time for it to heal, and fuse into place with the surrounding bone. The time required for healing can vary from patient to patient.
You can anticipate having between one and four follow-up appointments during this healing process. These appointments are simply to ensure that your implants are healing the way they are supposed to, and to determine when you are ready for the next phase in your dental restoration.
Your surgeon may recommend a soft tissue graft, which provides stronger and more natural-looking gum tissue in the area around the implant. A soft tissue graft involves moving a small amount of healthy gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. This is usually a very short and comfortable procedure.
Once the healing process concludes, your regular dentist will complete the restoration by placing the replacement teeth, which will be securely anchored by the implants.
When Are Dental Implants Placed?
Implants may be placed immediately following the extraction of the tooth, or they may be placed several months later. Immediate implant placement is the simplest solution but may not be possible if there is an infection or some other complication. Also, note that when teeth are missing for a long time, it can result in the loss of bone tissue. This makes it beneficial to replace teeth with implants, which stimulate bone regeneration as quickly as possible.