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 several prescriptions, including antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or oral sedation (Halcion) can be prescribed upon request. 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.

1. Normal

2. Tooth Loss

3. Healed Bone

4. Implant Placed

5. Healing

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 most cases, implants may be restored 2-4 months after they are placed. Dr. Hovey or Dr. Corning will advise you on follow-up care and timing. In most cases, a healing abutment or temporary crown is placed at the time of implant placement; however, if significant grafting is required at the time of placement, the implant is covered and a second minor procedure to uncover the implant and place a healing abutment of temporary crown.  The purpose of the healing abutment is to allow the gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant. Do not chew on the implant area until it is restored.

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 may be placed several months after tooth removal or immediately after extraction of a tooth. The amount of surrounding residual bone following removal often determines whether immediate or delayed placement is indicated.  When significant infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement may be contraindicated.

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 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?

One implant per tooth can be provided; however, depending on the location of the missing teeth and bone volume available, two implants can support between 2-6 teeth.  2-4 implants can also commonly retain upper or lower overdentures.