Overview of Implant Placement
The Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant. 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 and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.
When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
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, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. The implant surgeon places a healing abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant. This allows gum tissue to mature around the implant and provides access to it.
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.
Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the final abutment (connector) and 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 a few 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 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. Fifty percent or more of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the first 6 months 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.
For multiple missing teeth, however, not every single tooth has to be replaced with its own dental implant. Once again, Dr. Farris, Dr. Gonzalez, and Dr. Sharma will carefully and extensively review all viable options with you.