Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant(s) is individually tailored to a patient’s specific needs, based on one’s particular anatomy and unique bite, as well as one’s health status and medical history. The number of appointments and time required for treatment will therefore vary from patient to patient. Dr. Özcan will certainly apply great precision and attention to the details of every case.

Antibiotics may be prescribed for you prior to surgery. To aide your surgical experience, intravenous sedation may be administered. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. Before your surgical procedure begins, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, Dr. Özcan will make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, create space using special instruments, and gently insert the titanium implant. The top of this implant may be left visible above the gum, although in some circumstances, Dr. Özcan may determine it is better in the early stages of your healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
A representation of a healed upper jaw bone after losing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
A digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
6. Implant Restored

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

The healing process begins following dental implant surgery, with the length of time required for healing varying from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. Dr. Özcan will advise you on timing and follow-up care. After the initial phase of healing, an abutment (support post) or a healing cap may be placed on top of the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

Occasionally, impressions are taken at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the bone has sufficiently healed around the implant(s). The length of healing time required is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (generally one to four appointments) is needed to ensure that  the surgery site is healing well and to determine when sufficient healing has taken place to permit the restorative phase of treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to achieve healthier, more easily cleanseable and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process is a relatively comfortable procedure and involves placement of some gum tissue from one part of the mouth to the area around the implant.

Whether one tooth or more teeth are being replaced, your General Dentist will complete the restoration phase of the treatment by fitting the replacement tooth (or teeth) to the dental implant(s).

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months following extraction of the tooth or teeth. Under ideal circumstances, an implant may be placed immediately following extraction(s). However, if infection is present or if other problems with the bone are noted, immediate implant placement is not possible.

If a tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent (surrounding) supporting bone will have resorbed (have undergone shrinkage and become thinner). This occurs because the root of the natural tooth must be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one third of the  jaw’s thickness may be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If one is missing a significant amount of bone as a result of long-term tooth loss, Dr. Özcan may recommend additional bone be grafted into the area. This procedure would permit the implant to be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many implants will be placed?

Generally, one implant per missing tooth is placed. As the larger teeth in the back of the jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.