Overview of Implant Placement
The Surgical Procedure
Prior to surgery, you will be given prescriptions for your post-operative medications. If you are being sedated with intravenous sedation, an IV will be started prior to beginning the implant procedure. 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 this dental 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.
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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. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the dental implant.
How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one-to-four appointments) 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.
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 dental 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?
Dental 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 dental 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 dental implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.
How many dental implants do I need?
Most frequently, one dental implant is placed per missing tooth. 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 dental implants. For complete arch reconstructions, between 4 and 8 implants are often placed.