Overview of Implant Placement
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30–60 minutes for one implant and only 2–3 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 to reduce the risk of infection and improve the implant’s success rate. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed. For greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be offered for the procedure. These options will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment.
After local anesthesia is administered and you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space in the bone using special instruments, and then 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.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
Healing after Dental Implant Surgery
The length of healing time varies from person to person depending on the quality and quantity of bone. Dr. Gulati will advise you on follow-up care and timing. During the initial phase of healing, a healing abutment (support post) or a healing cap is placed on the dental implant. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant. In some cases, temporary restorations can be immediately placed on implants.
Occasionally impressions are made at the time of implant placement for future restorations. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (1–4 appointments) is usually needed to ensure your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.
In some cases, it may be necessary and 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 is 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 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 supporting 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.