Overview of Implant Placement
The Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place an implant takes 30 minutes for one implant and 1 to 2 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. Dr. Scott and her implant team 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 implant will be placed.
When you are comfortable, Dr. Scott will make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, create space using special instruments, and carefully insert the titanium implant. The top of this implant is visible through the gum.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
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. Dr. Scott will advise you on follow-up care and timing. At the time of the surgery, Dr. Scott places a healing cap onto the implant. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the 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. Xrays and clinical evaluations will be conducted at the follow-up appointments to determine that the implant is successfully integrating.
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/denture) to the dental implant/s.
When Are Dental Implants Placed?
Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At selected 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. 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.