Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The dental implant placement procedure takes approximately 60 minutes for one implant and is virtually pain free. The time required for integration varies from patient to patient, but 3 months is generally expected.  Dr. Straw will explain the details of your case and let you know exactly what to expect. 

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and possibly choose intravenous sedation for greater comfort. 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. The top of the implant may be visible, although sometimes it is better for 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

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. Dr. Straw will advise you on follow-up care and timing.  After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

Occasionally, impressions are taken at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) are needed 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.

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction, although sometimes an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve an increased risk, but it simplifies the process—you won’t have to wait to place the implant. When infection or other problems orally are present, immediate implant placement is not the best course of 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 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.