Overview of Implant Placement

The Surgical Procedure

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide. These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed.

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
An representation of a healed upper jaw bone after loosing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
An 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

The Healing Phase

Now the healing begins. The length of time varies 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. Pickle will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, Dr. Pickle places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

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. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process may involve 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 and relatively comfortable procedure.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth/teeth 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

How Many Implants Do I Need?

If you are missing a single tooth or have areas where individual teeth are missing, one implant per tooth is usually recommended.  When you have multiple teeth in a row missing, or a full jaw of missing teeth, the doctor will discuss how many implants are most appropriate. Many times, when a full jaw is missing all of the teeth, we can restore all of them with just 4-6 dental implants.