Getting dental implants can take up to 10 months starting from any initial procedures performed to the restoration placement. However, the final treatment plan will ultimately depend upon your oral health and the time it takes for your body to heal after implant surgery. While this is certainly one of the longer treatment periods in restorative dentistry, Dr. Timothy M. Kelly recommends dental implants over other tooth replacement procedures because of their unparalleled benefits.
Unlike traditional restorations, dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss and never need to be replaced or refitted. Additionally, dental implants allow for a more natural feel, which means you can speak properly and chew comfortably without being limited in the types of foods you enjoy.
Your individual timeline will depend on several factors, including the complexity of your case, how many dental implants are required, and whether you need to undergo any preparatory surgeries. The type of implants and final restoration you receive can also affect the timeline, as more comprehensive restorations may take longer to design and construct.
The first step is always an in-depth consultation with Dr. Kelly. Before he can devise a treatment plan and estimate your timeline, Dr. Kelly will need to review your full dental and medical history. This process may include a number of diagnostic measures, such as x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to determine the dimensions of the soft and hard tissues of your face and jaw as well as the location of your sinus cavities. These images will help us determine whether we can proceed with implant surgery right away or need to consider preparatory surgeries.
In some cases, patients may need to undergo a preliminary procedure to ensure dental implants treatment is successful. This may include a bone graft if the jawbone does not have sufficient strength to support implants.
Another possible surgery is sinus augmentation, also known as a sinus lift. In some cases, implants may intrude upon the sinus cavity, which can lead to complications such as swelling, infection, or chronic pain. During a sinus lift, we will raise the floor of the nasal cavity to ensure that the implants will not affect sinus function. Bone grafts and sinus surgery typically require an additional two to three month recovery before implants can be placed.
Dental implant surgery is usually completed as a single outpatient procedure. Before beginning, Dr. Kelly will administer anesthesia to ensure your comfort. He will then strategically insert the small titanium posts into your jawbone. The length of the procedure varies from patient to patient and will depend on the number of implants being placed.
This process is the longest and most critical element of every dental implant procedure. During osseointegration, the implant posts fuse with the natural tissues of the jawbone to create a strong foundation for restorations. This healing period generally takes three to six months.
Once the osseointegration process is deemed successful, Dr. Kelly will place abutments onto each implant that will connect the post to your customized implant-supported restoration. He will then take an impression of your smile which will be used by our trusted dental laboratory to design and fabricate your restoration. If you are missing a single tooth and have only one implant, you may be able to receive same-day crowns with our advanced E4D CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) system. When your restoration is ready, Dr. Kelly can affix it to the implant to complete your beautifully restored smile.
To learn more about the time commitment required for dental implants, contact our practice online or by calling (505) 256-1770.