Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 1 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. Your team at Fountaingrove Dentistry will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, oral conscious 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 dentist makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant in the position of the original tooth. 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.

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

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. The dentist will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, impressions are taken to start work on the final restoration. Additional planing and time is required to create multiple teeth supported by dental implants.

Occasionally, a fixed temporary tooth is attached at the time the implant is placed. These cases are usually reserved for the front teeth and have the advantage of maintaining the shape of the gum tissue around the new implant. This treatment requires extra skill and planing. The team at Fountaingrove Dentistry is very experienced in providing this type of treatment in the right cases.

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 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 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?

Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. However, if all the teeth are missing, the prosthetic teeth can be supported by 4 to 6 implants in the right situation. The Fountaingrove dentistry team can advise you on the advantages and costs of different treatment options.