Overview of Implant Placement
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
Dental implant placements are not a lengthy procedure for our oral surgeons; to place one dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required varies from patient to patient. Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Anesthesia will be discussed with you during your oral consultation appointment and typically it is a local anesthetic that is administered to numb the area where the dental implant is placed; the surgeon will then make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creating space using special instruments, and they will carefully insert the titanium implant.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
Healing after Dental Implant Surgery
The length of time it takes to heal following implant surgery varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone and how many implants were administered. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. Our oral surgeons will advise you on follow-up care and timing. Once the initial stage of healing passes, the surgeon places a support post or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a follow-up visit; this allows gum tissue to mature and provides easier access to the implant.
Dental impressions can be made at the same time the implant is placed to enable the crown to be ready, once the implants have healed. It takes between 1 and 4 appointments of follow-up care to ensure that the mouth is healing correctly and to determine when the next stage can occur. It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger and more natural looking 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 your teeth that are being replaced, your personal dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.
When are dental implants placed?
Implants are placed several months following any tooth extractions; it is rare that an implant would be placed right after extracting a tooth. If your tooth has been missing for any length of time, the adjacent supporting bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth must 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 lots of bone, you can 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?
Only one implant is needed for each missing tooth. If the larger teeth at the back of your mouth also need to be replaced, they are usually replaced with larger implants as these teeth have two or three roots.