Reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Foley, DDS

Dental implants have significantly changed the way we replace missing teeth. They offer a durable, natural-looking solution that functions much like your real teeth. However, many patients wonder, “How long does it take to get dental implants from start to finish?”

In this blog, we will provide a detailed timeline from the initial consultation to the final restoration, helping you navigate the entire process with confidence.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The dental implant process, from consultation to final restoration, typically takes several months, primarily due to the necessary healing and osseointegration period. However, factors like additional procedures (bone grafting, sinus lift, tooth extractions) and individual healing times can affect the overall timeline.

Understanding Dental Implants

Before we get into the timeline, let’s briefly recap what dental implants are. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, typically made of titanium, that is surgically placed into your jawbone. This implant post acts as a sturdy anchor for a replacement tooth, that is a dental crown, or a full arch of teeth.

Key Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Improved oral health: Dental implants don’t require altering adjacent teeth, unlike bridges.
  • Improved confidence: Implants restore your smile and improve your ability to eat and speak.
  • Longevity: With proper care, dental implants can last you a lifetime.

The Dental Implant Process: A Step-by-Step Timeline

Step 1. Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning

  • Timeline: 1-2 visits
  • What happens: Your implant dentist will assess your oral health, take a 3D dental scan, and discuss your goals. They’ll determine if you’re a suitable candidate and create a personalized treatment plan.

Step 2. (Optional) Pre-Implant Procedures

  • Timeline: Varies from 3-12 months, if bone grafting is needed.
  • What happens: Some patients require additional surgical procedures before implant placement. These treatment options may include:
    • Bone graft: If you’ve experienced bone loss, a bone graft helps build up your jawbone for implant stability.
    • Tooth extraction: If the tooth that needs to be replaced is still present, it will be removed. If the bone is healthy, it is possible for the implant to be placed on the same day. 
    • Sinus lift: If there isn’t enough bone tissue in your upper jaw, a sinus lift can be performed to ensure the implant will be well-supported.

Step 3. Implant Surgery

  • Timeline: 1-2 hours per implant
  • What happens: The implant post (the artificial tooth root) will be surgically placed into your jaw bone. This is usually done under local anesthesia, and many patients report minimal discomfort. Bone grafting is also frequently done during this procedure.

Step 4. Healing Times and Osseointegration

  • Timeline: 3-6 months
  • What happens: This is a critical phase where the implant posts fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This provides a stable foundation for your new teeth. During this healing period, you may have temporary teeth to maintain your smile.

Step 5. Abutment Placement

  • Timeline: Short procedure, about 30 minutes
  • What happens: Once osseointegration is complete, a small connector called an abutment will be attached to the implant post. This will support your dental crown.

Step 6. Dental Restoration

  • Timeline: 1-2 weeks for crown fabrication and placement
  • What happens: Your dentist will take the impressions to create your custom-made dental crown or bridge. This crown is designed to match your natural teeth in color, shape, and size.

Step 7. Follow-Up and Maintenance

  • Timeline: Ongoing
  • What happens: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to ensure the long-term success of your dental implants. With proper care, your implants can last for decades.

Factors Affecting the Dental Implant Timeline

  • Individual needs: The complexity of your case (number of implants, need for bone grafting) can influence the timeline.
  • Healing process: Everyone heals at a different pace. Your oral health and lifestyle can impact how quickly you recover.
  • Implant type: Certain implant systems may have shorter treatment times.
  • Dental lab schedule: The fabrication of your custom restoration may take a few weeks.

Best Dental Implants in Boulder, CO

Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. At Foley and Le Oral Surgery, we offer comprehensive implant consultations and personalized treatment plans.

If you are considering a dental implant procedure, schedule a consultation with our experienced surgeons today. We will guide you through each step of the process and help you achieve a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile!

If you are searching for the ‘best dental implants near me’ or an ‘oral surgeon in Boulder,’ we can help. Call (303) 444-2255 to book an appointment or complete the online inquiry form.


How long do you go without teeth when getting implants?

In many cases, temporary teeth are provided shortly after the implant is placed to help maintain your smile and function. However, if additional procedures such as bone grafting are necessary, the timeline could be extended. Generally, it can take several months from the initial implant placement to the final restoration.

Do I get put to sleep for dental implants?

Implant surgery is commonly performed under local anesthesia, which means you will be awake but won’t feel pain in the treated area. However, for patients with anxiety or those undergoing more complex procedures, sedation options are available.

How painful are dental implants?

Patients often find that getting dental implants causes minimal discomfort. During the procedure, local anesthesia guarantees you don’t feel pain. Post-surgery, some swelling, and minor discomfort are normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

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