So you have made the decision to get dental implant(s), booked your appointment and are wondering what to expect. Dental Implants are an innovative way to replace missing teeth. Your dentist places a titanium implant (looks like a small screw) into the jawbone similar to a root of a tooth and then the doctor fastens the artificial tooth (teeth) to the implants. The whole process may take 3-9 months—longer if an extraction needs time to heal or if a bone graft is required before the posts are implanted.
1. How long does the procedure take?
It really varies from case to case. Some factors to consider are: possible tooth extraction, the number of teeth, which teeth, bone grafting and also the general health of your mouth. All of these factors determine how long it will take during the actual procedure, as well as, the number of visits required. For an idea of the time of the actual procedure: a single tooth implant can typically take 1-2 hours. (including anesthesia and creating a sterile surgical environment)
2. What does the surgery preparation entail?
Your dental surgeon will most likely provide you with pre-operative instructions. These may include your doctor prescribing antibiotics prior to surgery for preventative measures, rinsing you mouth with a special anti-bacterial mouth wash, asking you to eat according to your procedure (healthy breakfast unless under IV sedation for which you could not eat after midnight the night prior), ensuring you have a driver if you opted for IV sedation or an oral sedative.1
3. What is involved in the implant placement procedure itself?
Typically, the surgical procedure is performed in a dental office with local anesthesia or sedation. Depending on your situation, you may require a damaged tooth to be removed, and/or some level of bone grafting.2 Once your jaw is healed, the implant portion will be next. During this procedure, your mouth will be thoroughly numbed and then an incision will be made in your gums to expose the bone the implant will be placed in. A special, quiet drill will make space in the bone for the implant to be placed in. The dental surgeon will screw the implant snugly into place with either a hand tool or the same drill. The surgeon will then close the surgical area with a stitch or two. Over the next few months the implant will become securely attached to the bone.1 This process is called Osseointegration. “Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on the dental implant just above the gum line. In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.”3
After your gums have healed, your dental implant surgeon will take impressions of your “mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth – which can be an individual crown, implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth – will be attached to the abutment.”3
Although the dental implant itself does not decay, you will care for it like your normal teeth. You will continue to brush and floss daily and have your dental implant checked on a regular basis as well. (every 6 months or more frequently if advised)
If you are interested in dental implant surgery, please call 888.257.4025 to set up a consultation with Dr. Young.
1. Dodge, Lora (Medically reviews by Sumaya Ibraheem, DDS). “ What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure”. Very Well Health. Updated on January 31, 2020. Available March 30, 2020. Online: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-to-expect-during-a-dental-implant-procedure-1059372
2. “Dental Implant Surgery”. Colgate. Available March 30, 2020. Online: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/dental-implant-surgery
3. “What to Expect”. AAID. Available March 30, 2020. Online: https://www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/what-to-expect/