Dental Implant Placement Overview

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant only takes a few minutes but depends on bone availability. And individual anatomic variances. Depending on bone grafting requirements, the number of appointments and time varies from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to detail to your case.

Appropriate intravenous anesthesia provides optimal comfort during the procedure. This will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment.

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
A representation of a healed upper jaw bone after losing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
A digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
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. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. Often times the healing abutment is placed at the time of surgical implant placement.

However, sometimes we will delay abutment placement until after the initial phase of healing when the surgeon places a 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.

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 at the time of implant placement.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being 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 three months after extraction. At times, if proper bone architecture exists, an implant may be placed at the time of extraction of a tooth. This simplifies the process – you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant.

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 bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafting 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 jaw have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.

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