Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure will be performed by one of our trusted Oral Surgeons.

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30-60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required varies from patient to patient. The surgeon will decide on this factor.

Prior to surgery, the surgeon will decide if you will receive antibiotics or sedation. These options are discussed with you at your consultation with the oral surgeon. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

Now the healing begins. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant is placed during a brief follow-up visit. This allows the gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four months) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned, and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant or by using grafting material. Most of the time this procedure is done before or at the same time as the implant placement.

Once the surgeon releases you when healing is complete you will then return to our office where we will complete the restoration that fits on top of the dental implant.

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed 3-4 months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after the extraction of the tooth. This may involve a little more risk, this option is indicated only in a very limited situation. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one-third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many implants do I need?

Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.

When you are missing all the teeth then the determination of how many implants are needed will be placed and the type of final prostheses will be discussed with our doctors and the surgeon.