Your decision to get implants can be an exciting one, especially when you imagine yourself with a complete and natural smile. It’s probably been a while since you have a missing, damaged, or decayed tooth that needs replacing. So, it’s natural to want your new tooth ASAP.

However, if you’re thinking about getting dental implants in NYC or elsewhere, there will be a standard healing process you will have to go through. Overall, the dental implant treatment timeline is about 3 to 6 months, but it will take longer if a special procedure, such as bone grafting, is required.

What is a Dental Implant?

The term “implant” is a fancy name for an artificial tooth root or implant post used to replace the original root of your missing tooth. The prosthetic root resembles a screw and is usually made from titanium. It is surgically implanted into the gum or jawbone.

A certain amount of time is then given to allow the gum to heal before mounting the replacement crown. The implant post actually forms stable support for the new dental crown, which your dentist will mount at the end of the implant procedure.

How Long Does Dental Implant Healing Take?

Healing time varies from patient to patient who gets dental implants in NYC. Generally, the time it takes for dental implant healing (osseointegration) will depend largely on these factors:

The need for a sinus lift: A sinus lift is done to add bone to the upper jaw in the area of the molars or premolars.

The need for bone grafting: Bone grafting is done to create sufficient bone height for the implant to sit snugly. The dentist will use artificial bone or transplant bone from a part of your body, such as the hip.

Bone Augmentation and Implant Healing

The type of implant procedure your dentist recommends influences whether a sinus lift or bone grafting is needed. Endosteal and subperiosteal are the two types of procedures used. With the endosteal surgery, the implant is placed into the jawbone while the patient is under anesthesia. In this case, the dentist will need to do a sinus lift or bone grafting to create sufficient bone height (bone augmentation) for the implant.

Patients undergoing subperiosteal implant surgery receive the implant in the gum, just above the jawbone, and will not go through bone grafting. Because bone healing time required, the process can take many monthsBone grafting alone can take about 3 to 6 months to complete and will add to the overall healing time.

Then additional time is needed for the implant to fuse with the bone or for the gum to heal once the tooth root is implanted. The fusion of the titanium screw to the bone helps prevent the implant from shifting or slipping once the crown is placed. However, bone augmentation extends the implant timeline for another 4 to 6 months.

Implant Osseointegration Timeline

Post-implant surgery healing (osseointegration) can take about 3 to 6 months. Immediately following the surgery, you may experience discomfort such as pain, swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding. The symptoms may continue for the next 2 to 3 days. Not to worry, this is normal.

Your oral surgeon may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to manage pain and swelling. On the bright side of things, healing begins, and you can look forward to your new smile in a matter of months.

Osseointegration is the process of allowing the dental implant to fuse to your jawbone. During this process, the jawbone also grows and unites with the surface of the implant post. In the meantime, you should be able to continue life as normal without any major inconvenience.

However, patients are usually advised to stay on a soft food diet during the first few weeks after to ensure the gum heals properly. The dentist may place a temporary crown in some cases. During the healing time, you will need to do follow-up visits for your dentist to see if everything is going well.

Abutment and Crowning

After healing is complete, it’s time for the dentist to place the abutment. These are connector rods that help anchor the implant. To do so, the oral surgeon will reopen your gum to expose the implant and attach one or more connectors.

Healing after the abutment procedure takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. In some cases, the dentist will bypass the procedure by placing the abutment at the same time as the implant.

At the next visit after abutment, once everything looks good, your customized replacement dental crown can be mounted. The crown is usually made from porcelain or ceramic and is customized to match your bite and the color of your natural teeth.

Cheers to Your New Smile

Implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. You can smile, talk, laugh, and kiss confidently with them. In addition, they stimulate jawbone growth for healthy, stronger teeth. Implants also last for an average of 25 years with good oral care and routine professional dental check-ups. You can care for your implants the same way you like your natural teeth by brushing and flossing at least twice a day.

Marc Lazare is a Trusted Dentist in New York

Dr. Lazare of Marc Lazare D.D.S is a renowned and trusted dentist in New York City. He performed dental implant surgery for countless patients across the US. He will do a detailed oral exam along with diagnostic tests before tailoring a treatment plan that matches your needs. With our state-of-the-art technology and procedures, you can look forward to safe and speedy recovery time. Call us at (212) 861-2599 to find out more or schedule a dental consultation today.