Overview of Implant Placement

The Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place an implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours 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 may receive antibiotics. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small opening in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates a hole inthe bone 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 and you will leave with sutures (stitches) in place.

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
An representation of a healed upper jaw bone after loosing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
An 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

The Healing Phase

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 with a tempoary restoration after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing.

How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. The process could take anywhere from 3-6 months. Follow-up care 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. After the phase of healing, the surgeon will place a healing cap onto the 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. 

Once the gums are ready, an impression of the implant(s) will be made and your custom restoration fabricated.  With our cutting-edge technology, the impressions may be done digitally without any “goopy” impression material.

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.

Dental Implants Presentation

When Are Dental Implants Placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction and bone graft. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. 

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the supporting bone is likely to become thinner. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth is not longer there to stimulate the bone. A bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary to place an implant or implants properly. 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, two implants may be placed to replace the missing roots and provide an ideal environment for hygiene and preventing food impaction.  If you are missing all your teeth in one jaw, anywhere from 4-8 implants will be placed depending on the situation.