Timeline for Dental Implants

When you’re missing a tooth, it’s more than just your smile that could be affected. Missing teeth can lead to shifting in your bite, jaw pain, and even disease or decay. Dental Implants in Chapel Hill, NC, can help patients replace missing teeth and restore the strength of their bite. Getting a dental implant can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it to protect your teeth and improve bone retention after losing a tooth. Everyone’s mouth is different, so some patients can experience a quick turnaround time for an implant, whereas others may take longer.

Timeline for Dental Implants

The Process for Dental Implants in Chapel Hill, NC

Dental implants require surgical placement, which means there’s always going to be some recovery time before your restoration is complete. Exactly how long a dental implant takes will depend on the specifics of your case.


If your tooth did not naturally fall out but needs to be removed due to decay or disease, you’ll first need an extraction. Many cases of extraction can be done with only local anesthesia, but your dentist may need to use additional sedation methods depending on the severity of tooth or gum damage. Some patients can get their implants surgically placed at the same time as extraction, but others may need additional work first.

Bone Grafting

If your jaw is healthy and stable, you could be able to get a dental implant right away. If, however, you have suffered bone loss or degradation of bone density, you may need a bone graft first. Bone grafting helps support your jaw and ensures your new dental implant can integrate properly. Patients can expect to wait around two months after a bone graft before they can receive a dental implant.

Surgical Placement

Once the tooth is gone and the jaw bone is secured, you can then get your dental implant surgically placed. This is perhaps the most invasive procedure with the longest downtime. After surgery, patients will need to wait between three and six months to allow the implant to fully integrate with the jaw bone. Failure to wait the appropriate amount of time could result in the implant failing.


Once the implant has fully integrated and the jaw and gum have healed, your dentist can then apply a restoration that fully improves your bite and smile. For single implants, the most common restoration is a dental crown. If you’re missing multiple teeth, however, your dentist may recommend a bridge or denture instead. Regardless of the type of restoration you receive, you’ll need two appointments: one to get an impression and a temporary, and the other to have the final restoration put in place.

At Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are a full-service implant provider. For most cases, our dentists can extract a tooth, perform bone grafting, surgically place an implant, and provide restoration. If, for any reason, we are unable to place an implant, we can still help. We work with highly skilled oral surgeons to help our patients restore their smiles. If you’re missing teeth and need an implant, call our office today at 919.736.6175 to schedule an appointment.