A new smile is an exciting and life-changing event. You want to show it off to your family, friends, and loved ones! If you’ve gotten dentures or crowns, you may be able to show off the finished product in as little as two visits. However, dental implants take a little bit longer.

From start to finish the dental implant procedure takes about six months. However, we tell patients not to feel too discouraged. Taking our time now ensures you have a beautiful smile for years to come.

The Procedure

Every patient’s situation is different, but the average dental implant procedure is typically broken down into the following five steps:

  • Tooth Extraction: If your tooth is damaged or broken, we need to extract the remaining pieces and tooth root.
  • Bone Grafting: This step isn’t always necessary, but we typically recommend bone grafting in conjunction with extractions. Bone graft is used to keep the jawbone as wide and tall as possible to hold space for a future implant.
  • Implant Placement: After your bone graft heals, we’ll place the titanium implant beneath your gum. This surgical procedure typically takes 20 minutes.
  • Healing: The last thing we want to do is interfere with your healing process. If we don’t give your jawbone ample time to heal, the whole treatment may fail. Over three to four months, new bone will form around the implant and help stabilize it.
  • Placing the Crown: Cementing or screwing on the crown to the implant is the final step and it’s when your smile comes to life! This porcelain crown is color-matched to your existing teeth and even acts like your natural teeth, helping you get back to eating the foods you love!

Overall, this process takes from 3 to 9 months, depending on a number of factors. We’ll be with you every step of the way to check in on your progress and make sure everything is healing nicely.

Will I Experience Any Delays?

Like anything in life, sometimes things don’t always go as planned. When we start your dental implant procedure, we work hard to address any questions, barriers, or issues from the very beginning. This is why we take x-rays, study your jawbone health, and spend extensive time with you to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants.

Most delays happen because of issues during the healing process. Infection, for example, can prolong the process. If you need a bone graft, this can also add a few months to your procedure. Sometimes people who smoke or have diabetes also take longer to heal than the average patient.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll have a new smile in six months or less, but we can promise that our Bethlehem Township team will do everything we can to make a successful, healthy smile a reality.

We encourage you to request a consultation with our team to learn more about the dental implant procedure. We’re located only minutes from Allentown and Easton, PA, so you don’t have far to travel!