How long does it take to install a replacement tooth?
How we work to minimise the time you spend without a tooth
When you’re looking at replacing a missing tooth, it’s important to plan 6 to 12 months in advance. While the actual implant chair time is quick, there is a planning and preparation process that is made up of several stages.
There are a number of factors to consider, such as:
- How long it’s been since you lost your tooth
- How much, if any, bone or surrounding soft tissue needs to be replaced
- Whether you’ll need any straightening or repair of surrounding teeth and gums, and
- If you have enough space for a replacement tooth.
It also depends on where the missing tooth is in your mouth. The back of your mouth may be more forgiving, sometimes requiring fewer preparatory steps. On the other hand, if you’re missing a tooth at the front of your mouth, changes can happen really quickly, in as little as six weeks, which may influence the prognosis or quality of outcome. So we may require rehabilitation of the site prior to implant placement.
In that case, it may take about 6 months to install a replacement tooth. Here’s the process we go through at Wickham Terrace Dental.
What are the different types of replacement bone?
Replacement bone comes in four forms:
- From yourself (Autogenous graft)
- From another human (Allograft)
- From a different species (such as a pig or cow), called a Xenograft, and
- Artificial or synthetic bone (Alloplastic graft).
A combination of autogenous graft and xenograft is usually the preferred choice of bone graft, since it is bio-compatible, yet doesn’t get resorbed by your body quickly, enabling the natural bone to form in the site.
With any bone graft, it takes a minimum three to four months for proper osseointegration (where the graft gets incorporated into your existing bone) of the implant into the bone. Once we test you in the chair, and osseointegration is confirmed, the next step is to make your actual tooth replacement.
How we craft your tooth replacement
We then begin the process of making your prosthesis, whether that’s a crown, removable denture, or a dental bridge. This step-by-step process takes around two to four weeks to manufacture a custom made and fitted tooth replacement.
Naturally, each one is different, so we take a precision approach with tolerances of just tiny fractions of a millimetre. After fabrication and characterisation, we then insert your new device. For a single tooth, this can take an appointment of just half an hour. We will check your bite, and if this looks good and within the acceptable tolerances, we can seal off the access hole. A more complex device (such as a bridge) may take a longer appointment.
What happens if your tooth root is still in place?
If your missing tooth’s root is still in place, this can be good news. It may mean that there is more bone there for us to use (if it’s not infected). In some cases, we can do an immediate implant where we extract your tooth and place an implant in the same visit.
Talk to us about your tooth replacement options
The Wickham Terrace Dental team have the expertise to look at all options for replacing your missing teeth.
To find out more, get in touch with our Brisbane dentists on (07) 3831 3031 or contact us online now.