Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and may be 3 or more hours for multiple implants. 

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and although most implant treatment can be performed very easily with Novacain, nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation can be provided by our office as well. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will always be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

The surgeon will need to lift up the gum tissue to reveal the bone and create a space using special instruments before gently inserting 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.

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

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, temporary teeth can be placed on the same day an implant is placed.  Your surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. 

How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. 1 to 2 follow-up appointments are 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.

Dental Implants Presentation

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. When this is appropriate, 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 25% 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. If you are missing all of your upper teeth or lower teeth, we do not need to place one implant per tooth. Depending on the type of replacement teeth, a full arch of replacement teeth can be anchored to as few as 2 implant to as many as 8 implants. Your oral surgeon can provide you with a customized treatment approach to fit your goals for replacement teeth.