Overview of Implant Placement

What Are Dental Implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. An implant replaces the root of a tooth.  The dental implant is made of titanium. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for your bone to bond to the implant, creating a strong foundation for the new crown. A support post (abutment), is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In some  cases a temporary crown can be placed on the day the implant is placed.

The Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place an implant takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes, but may require more time if additional implants are placed at the same time.  Intravenous Sedation is usually used when placing implants. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. 

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 implant is often visible through the gum.

Normal Mouth
1. Normal
After Tooth Loss
2. Tooth Loss
Healed Bone, after bone grafting
3. Healed Bone
Dental Implant Placed
4. Implant Placed
Healing after dental implant placement
5. Healing
Dental Implant Restored
6. Implant Restored

The Healing Phase

The length of healing time varies from person to person.  Follow-up care is needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment. 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 can be placed at the time of an extraction.   When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement, may not be advised. 

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the bone is likely to grow thinner or shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. If you are missing enough bone, you may need bone grafting prior to implant placement.