The Surgical Procedure for Dental Implants

At Campbell Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, the procedure to place an implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only two to three hours for multiple implants. Your comprehensive treatment plan is based on the specific details of your case. Since this is true for everyone we see, the number of appointments and time required vary from patient to patient. What doesn’t change, however, is Dr. Campbell’s commitment to providing you with the highest quality of care.

You may be put on antibiotics in advance of your surgery. For greater comfort during the procedure, you might receive intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options will be discussed and agreed upon at your consultation appointment. At minimum, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implant will go.

When you’re comfortable, Dr. Campbell will make a small incision in the gum tissue to access the bone. He will carve out space in it and gently set the titanium screw into the dense jawbone. Over time, the two elements will fuse in a process called “osseointegration.” Within three to six months, the implant will be completely and permanently anchored in the bone, just like a real tooth.

The Healing Phase

Now, the healing begins. How long it takes depends upon the quantity and quality of available jawbone. In some cases, such as our Same Day Smile program, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. Dr. Campbell will advise you of the timetable and details for your follow-up care and healing.

Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Between one and four appointments are usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to shore up the gum tissue around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief, comfortable procedure.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your restoring dentist will complete the process by attaching the crowns to the dental implants you’ve received.

When are Dental Implants Placed?

With the exception of specialized same-day treatments, dental implants are generally placed between three and six months after tooth extraction. When implants are placed immediately after removal, the risk of failure increases a little. Even so, the convenience of fewer follow-up visits makes it worth it for some. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement should be avoided.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the jawbone at the gap is likely to have less volume and be less dense. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth is not present to stimulate the bone and keep it healthy. 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 need bone grafted into the area prior to implant therapy. A bone graft will ensure that the implant is adequately supported in the jaw.

How many implants do I need?

Generally, 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.