If you’ve opted for dental implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth, you might have some questions about the implant placement procedure and when you can get an implant after losing a tooth.
The treatment process usually has three phases: the surgery, the healing process, and the restoration. Here is an overview of what you can expect with a dental implant from our oral and maxillofacial surgery team.
Dental implants replace a missing tooth, and are often placed several months after a tooth extraction. Sometimes they can be surgically placed immediately after a tooth extraction. Though this simplifies the process, there can be higher risk.
If you have a tooth that has been missing for a long period of time, your specialist will first need to determine if you have enough bone density in your jaw to support an implant. Before an implant can be placed, we may recommend a bone graft to ensure a more successful implant procedure.
When you have your consultation about your tooth restoration options, your specialist will discuss your treatment plan if you opt for dental implants.
The surgical procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes for a single implant and two to three hours for multiple implants, but your surgeon will discuss the number of appointments and time required based on your oral health history and needs.
Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics. For your comfort, you may also have the option of intravenous sedation or laughing gas. Your surgeon will also use a local anesthetic to numb the area where the implant will be placed.
Once you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in your gum tissue and makes a space in the revealed bone to gently insert the titanium implant. Frequently the top of this implant will be visible through the gum.
The length of time you need for healing varies, depending on the bone density of your jaw where the implant was placed. The goal is for your implant post to bond with your jawbone.
After an initial period of healing, your surgeon will place a support post that allows the gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.
You’ll have one to four follow-up appointments for your surgeon to monitor your healing and determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment. If necessary, your surgeon might recommend a soft tissue graft to improve the appearance and function of the gum tissue in the treatment area.
Your restorative dentist will fit and create the permanent artificial tooth that will attach to the implant post and replace the tooth’s crown. You might receive a temporary prosthesis until your implant has fully healed and is ready for the permanent tooth.
Our doctors at AOMS are trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons who are experienced with dental implants and other surgeries in the mouth and jaw. Our goal is to provide the best care possible so you feel comfortable and informed before your procedure.