Overview of Implant Placement
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place a dental implant takes about 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and usually 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required vary from patient to patient. With the use of i-CAT 3D imaging, our surgeons will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.
You may receive antibiotics for your surgery if your surgeon determines it is in your best interest at your consultation appointment. For greater comfort, intravenous sedation or sometimes inhalational agents (such as nitrous oxide or laughing gas) can be used in our offices. 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. A healing cap may be placed on top of the implant that could be visible through the gum tissues. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue, but this does require a second much more minor surgery to expose the top of the implant. This often can be done with only local anesthesia with very minimal discomfort.
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 temporarily restored immediately after they are placed. Your surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon may place an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit if the implant was covered by gum tissue when it was placed in your jaw. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant for your restorative dentist.
Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the 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 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.
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 several months after a tooth has been removed. 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 always the best treatment.
If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to shrink and become thinner. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth helps maintain the jaw bone. As much as one third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following a 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.