The average dental implant treatment lasts three to six months, according to the Dental Implant Center. However, some dental implant procedures allow for the immediate replacement of an extracted tooth while others take over six months if jaw surgery and bone grafting are needed. The majority of this time is spent waiting for the bone to completely fuse with the implant.
The first phase of the treatment involves the placement of the implant. This procedure lasts one-half of an hour to four hours depending on the complexity and number of implants being placed. The implant takes three to six months to fuse with the jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration. The patient wears a temporary denture or bridge to allow for normal activities during this healing period.
The second phase of the treatment begins once osseointegration is complete. A small metal post or extension, known as an abutment, is attached to the implant during this phase. It takes one to two weeks for the abutment to heal, according to Mayo Clinic.
During the final stage, the replacement tooth is made and fitted onto the abutment. Impressions of the patient's mouth and remaining teeth are taken and used to make an artificial replacement tooth, known as the crown. The patient tries out the crown during key stages as it is being made to ensure it blends with his facial features and any remaining teeth. This stage takes four to eight weeks.