Overview of Implant Placement
The Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place a dental implant takes 20 to 30 minutes for one implant and only 30 to 40 minutes for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.
Prior to surgery, you will receive antibiotics. Most patients opt for local numbing during surgery but conscious sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be better options if you are nervous or are unable to hold your head and body still. 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, 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. In some cases you will not even notice the implant because it will covered by your gums or flush with your gums. In other cases we will place a healing cap which sticks up about 3mm above your gums. Let us know if you wear a partial or temporary removable appliance to help us determine if we are able to place a healing cap.
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. We will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, we place 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.
How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to two 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 the roof of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
When are dental implants placed?
Implants are often placed a few months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process—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 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.