How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

A dental implant replaces the entire tooth, including the root. Because of this, it’s not a quick treatment.

The dental implant procedure takes about an hour, but the overall process requires multiple steps over 4+ months.

Is it worth the wait?

Yes. Dental implants are the most natural tooth replacement and offer countless advantages over traditional bridges and dentures.

Click on each step to learn what to expect:

  1. Consultation: 1 appointment.
  2. Treatment planning: Usually included with the consultation.
  3. Tooth extraction and bone graft (if needed): 1 appointment, then 4 months of healing
  4. Surgery: 1 appointment. Under certain circumstances, steps 3 and 4 can be combined to shorten the entire procedure and healing time.
  5. Healing: 3-6 months.
  6. Abutment and restoration (crown, bridge, or denture): 1-2 appointments.
  7. Ongoing maintenance: At home and with your dentist every 4 to 6 months.

The dental implant procedure takes about an hour, but the overall process requires multiple steps over 4+ months.

1. Consultation

First, you’ll meet with a dentist to see if you’re a candidate for a dental implant.

This visit will likely include an exam and imaging (x-rays and potentially a CBCT scan).

Your dentist will review your tooth or implant site, bone structure, gum health, etc.

2. Treatment planning

Dental implants can last a lifetime if cared for and placed properly.

Your dentist will pair their expertise with technology to plan the precise placement of your implant post.

An implant post is a small, screw-like post made from durable material, like titanium. This acts as your new tooth’s root.

This also ensures your implant functions like a natural tooth, allowing you to chew your favorite food without discomfort or difficulty.

3. Tooth extraction

If you still have the tooth, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to prevent pain, and then gently remove it.

In some cases, the site may require time to heal. Alternatively, the tooth may be extracted at the same appointment as the implant surgery.

Bone graft

If you’ve been missing a tooth for a while, you may need a bone graft… This text opens a new tab to learn about bone grafts….

A bone graft helps to restore and regrow the bone structure of that area.

It can take up to four months for the bone to become strong enough for the implant procedure.

Want to avoid this procedure? Replace your tooth as soon as it’s removed to avoid bone loss.

4. Surgery

Dental implant surgery typically takes about an hour.

During this time, you’ll be numbed or sedated while your dentist surgically places the implant post within your jawbone. Custom surgical guides designed for your specific tooth make this process seamless and precise.

You may feel pressure, but it shouldn’t hurt.

5. Healing

A dental implant typically takes 3-6 months to integrate and fuse with your jawbone.

During this time, you must follow your dentist’s instructions closely. This may include switching to a soft food diet temporarily and returning to the office for regular checkups.

Once it’s healed, your implant post will mimic a tooth root.

Temporary tooth placement

While your implant heals, your dentist may give you a temporary dental prosthetic to hide the missing tooth and maintain your smile.

An example of an dental implant's crown, abutment, and titanium post.

6. Abutment and restoration

An abutment is a connection piece between the post and tooth restoration. A restoration simply refers to a visible tooth replacement, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures.

This last part typically takes 1-2 appointments, depending on your dentist’s technology.

If your dentist offers CEREC crowns like ours, this step may only take one visit since the crown can be designed and created in the office. Otherwise, this procedure may require a dental lab’s involvement and take another 1-2 weeks.

The first step is taking impressions for your abutment and restoration.

Next, your dentist will secure your abutment and restoration, test your bite, and make any adjustments if needed.

Once you’re both happy, you’ll leave with a fully restored smile.

Your dental implant will look identical to your surrounding teeth when done right. No one will be able to tell the difference.

7. Ongoing maintenance

With proper care, your implant post can last a lifetime. Your restoration, on the other hand, may need replacing over time.

On average:

With excellent care, it’s possible to preserve your restoration for 20 to 30 years or more.

Here’s how to make your implant and restoration last longer:

  • Floss daily, especially around the implant post
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid chewing on hard objects like pens and ice
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles
  • Visit your dentist every 4 to 6 months for an oral hygiene cleaning and exam

Contact Dr. Giesy for dental implants in Tacoma, WA.

Looking for dental implants in Tacoma, WA?

Contact Dr. Michael Giesy.

He has extensive training and experience in implantology and even lectures other dentists nationwide on dental implants and bone regenerative techniques.

Your entire dental implant procedure will be completed in our office, saving you time, money, and headaches.

Dr. Giesy also offers same-day crowns, which may be an option to speed up your treatment.

Giesy Family & Implant Dentistry is located in Tacoma, WA… This text opens a new tab to our Google listing…. We serve families from all over the Pacific Northwest, including Ruston, Spanaway, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, University Place, Fircrest, Olympia, Puyallup, Federal Way, Fife, and Port Orchard.