Reviewed by Dr. Jason Fluckiger, DMD

A confident and beaming smile can enrich our lives in many ways, and dental implants are an essential tool to help us achieve that goal.

This blog post will provide a comprehensive look into the tooth extraction and implant timeline so you can know exactly what to expect from this transformative treatment.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Tooth Extraction and Implant Timeline

The tooth extraction and implant timeline can vary greatly from person to person, depending on several key factors. 

These include the patient’s overall health, the number of teeth involved, whether extraction is necessary, and the condition of the jaw bone. 

If bone grafting is needed, this could extend the process by several months to allow the graft to heal and integrate with the bone.

General Timeline Overview

  1. Initial consultation and examination: Your oral surgeon will perform a thorough examination, including X-rays and scans, to assess your oral health and determine the best course of treatment.
  2. Extraction (if needed): If a tooth needs to be extracted, there are two scenarios that could occur: The tooth will be removed, and a bone graft will be placed in the socket, or the implant will be placed immediately after extraction (immediate placement) often with simultaneous bone graft used to fill the residual space between socket and implant.
  3. Healing period: The healing time for a bone graft and a dental implant ranges from 3 to 6 months.
  4. Restoration: Once the implant has fully integrated with the surrounding bone, your final restoration is fabricated and placed by your general dentist.

Factors Affecting the Timeline

As mentioned earlier, several factors can affect the tooth extraction and implant timeline. Here are some common examples:

  • Oral health: Patients with good oral health may have a shorter timeline, while those with underlying oral issues may require additional treatments before the implant can be placed. These issues may include the presence of gum disease or systemic medications.
  • Number of teeth involved: The more teeth that need to be extracted and replaced with implants, the longer the timeline will be. 
  • Bone grafting: Patients who require advanced or significant bone grafting may experience a longer timeline as the graft needs time to heal and integrate with the jaw bone before the implant is placed.

Healing time: Every patient’s body heals at a different rate, so the healing period may vary from person to person.

Key Takeaway

The timeline for tooth extraction and implant surgery is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your oral surgeon will evaluate your specific case and provide you with a customized treatment plan and predicted timeline.

Pre-Implant Procedures and Their Impact on the Timeline

As mentioned above, some patients may require additional procedures like a tooth extraction or bone graft before the implant can be placed.

These pre-implant procedures are necessary to ensure that the patient’s jaw bone is strong enough to support the implant and that there is enough space for proper placement.

Tooth Extraction

  1. Tooth extraction followed by a bone graft: In this scenario, after the tooth is extracted, a bone graft is performed. This involves placing a special material into the socket where the tooth was removed. The purpose of the bone graft is to encourage new bone growth and preserve the bone structure. This is often done when there is not enough bone present to support a dental implant immediately.
  2. Tooth extraction followed by immediate placement of the dental implant: In this scenario, after the tooth is extracted, a dental implant is immediately placed into the socket. This is possible when there is enough healthy bone present to support the implant. By placing the implant immediately, it helps to preserve the bone and reduces the need for additional procedures in the future.

Both scenarios aim to restore the function and aesthetics of the missing tooth, but the specific approach depends on the individual’s oral health and bone structure.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is necessary when there is not enough bone present to support a dental implant. This can occur due to factors such as gum disease, tooth loss, or prolonged denture use.

The process involves taking bone from another part of the body or using donated or synthetic material and placing it onto the jaw bone where the future implant will be placed. The graft then needs time to heal and integrate with the bone before the implant can be placed.

We use two types of bone graft materials at AZ Max: allografts and xenografts.

  • Allografts are taken from a human cadaver, which is chemically processed and irradiated to make it safe to be transplanted into your mouth. It acts as a matrix or filler for your own bone to replace the allograft bone over time. Allografts are the most common type of dental bone graft.
  • Xenografts are created from bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) bones. These graft materials are often used due to a longer resorption rate. This maintains the graft volume for a longer period of time and leads to less overall graft shrinking. Frequently xenografts are mixed with allografts for this reason. 

Following the bone grafting procedure, patients typically have to wait four to six months for the graft to heal and integrate with their jawbone before undergoing dental implant surgery.

Key Takeaway

Pre-implant procedures such as tooth extraction and bone grafting may increase the timeline for dental implant surgery. However, they are necessary to ensure the long-term success of the implant and overall oral health.

The Dental Implant Surgery Process

Dental implant surgery is a relatively simple and straightforward process that can be completed in one visit. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect:

  1. Anesthesia: You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area where the implant will be placed. If you suffer from dental anxiety or find it hard to sit for long periods, dental sedation options are available.
  2. Implant placement: An incision is made in your gum to expose the jawbone underneath then the implant is carefully placed into the jaw bone.
  3. Suturing: The incision in your gums will be closed with stitches. Some implants will have a healing abutment attached at this stage.
  4. Healing period: You will have to wait for 3-6 months for the implant to integrate with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration.

For a detailed explanation of the All-on-4® or Teeth-in-a-Day® procedure, read All-on-4 Dental Implants: Step-by-Step Procedure Details.

Post-Implant Procedures and Timeline

After the implant has fully integrated with your jawbone, you will be ready for the final steps of the dental implant process. Your surgeon will give your dentist the green light to schedule an appointment for your final restoration. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Abutment placement: A small connector piece called an abutment is attached to the top of the implant that will serve as a base for your final restoration.
  2. Impressions: Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-made restoration, such as a crown or bridge that will be attached to the abutment. If your dentist has the technology to create same-day restorations,  you can get your new restoration on the same day!
  3. Placement of final restoration: Your custom restoration is placed onto the abutment, completing your dental implant treatment.

It is essential to follow proper aftercare instructions after each procedure to ensure successful and timely healing. Your surgeon and dentist will provide you with specific guidelines to follow, such as avoiding certain foods and maintaining good oral hygiene.

Key Takeaway

The entire dental implant process, including pre-implant procedures and post-implant procedures, can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. However, the long-term benefits of a strong and natural-looking tooth replacement make it worth the wait.

AZ Max Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

Your Dental Implant Specialists in Mesa, AZ

The timeline for dental implants varies from patient to patient, depending on their individual needs and any pre-implant procedures required. While it may seem like a lengthy process, the wait is well worth it!

Call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form to book a free dental implant consultation at AZ Max Oral Surgery. Our experienced and compassionate oral surgeons will guide you through every step of the process to ensure a successful outcome. 

Say goodbye to missing teeth and hello to a confident smile with dental implants at AZ Max.  So why wait? Schedule your consultation today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Can I get an implant 2 years after extraction?

Yes, it is possible to get a dental implant even two years after a tooth extraction. However, the success of the implant depends on the health and density of the jaw bone in the extracted area. If there has been significant bone loss, it may be necessary to undergo a bone graft before the implant can be placed.

How long does a dental implant take from start to finish?

The timeline for a dental implant varies from patient to patient. If you require a bone graft, the process from start to finish will take around 9-12 months. The bone graft will need time to heal and integrate with the jawbone before placing the implant, and the implant will need time to integrate with the jawbone before the final restoration can be placed. If a bone graft is not required, the process can take anywhere from 3-6 months.

What are the success rates of dental implants?

Dental implants have a high success rate of over 95%. However, this may vary depending on individual factors such as overall health and proper aftercare. It is essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to ensure a successful outcome.