Overview of Implant Placement
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place a dental implant takes 20 to 40 minutes for a single implant and 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. Your oral surgeon will bring great precision and attention to your care.
For your comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) are available for your procedure. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.
When you are comfortable, your 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.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
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. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. Your surgeon will advise you on timing and follow-up care. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.
Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when your implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) 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. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.
Whether you’re having one tooth or all of your teeth replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.
When are dental implants placed?
Implants are often placed several months after extraction. In some cases, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. You won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. 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 bone is likely to thin and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth is no longer 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 have moderate to significant bone loss, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures adequate support for your implant.