Dental Implants

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

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

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. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

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

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

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. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental 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 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 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 (crown) to the dental implant.

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process — you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. 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 benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many dental implants do I need?

Most frequently, 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.


Dental Implants FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Our top implant dentists in Plano and Flower Mound TX are changing lives every day as they replace missing teeth with premium dental implants in our multi-specialty dental office. We anchor implants in the jaw which provides our patients with the freedom to eat their favorite food without having to worry about slippage and other embarrassing situations.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant has become the golden standard for replacing missing teeth. A single implant consists of a titanium screw that is inserted in your jaw, a crown, and a connector that attaches the crown to the screw. Implants give you the ability to talk, eat, and laugh freely.

How do dental implants work?

We place a screw in your jaw that serves the same purpose as the roots of your natural teeth. During several months of osseointegration, the implant fuses with the bone, creating stability and permanence. Once all healing has occurred, we place the final crown restoration.

How long does it take to get a dental implant?

The duration of this process depends on the patient and the complexity of your case. Typically, implant placement can take up to 18 months. If your jaw requires bone grafting to bulk it up before implant placement, that will extend your treatment time.

Will I need to have bone grafting?

If you have been missing a tooth for more than a month, it is likely you will need some bone grafting to bulk up the area where the implant will be placed. At your consultation, we will evaluate the surgical site, discuss with you your unique needs, and advise accordingly. Bone grafting is a safe and simple procedure that over half of implant patients require.

Will I miss work?

It’s not uncommon to take a day or two off for an implant.

Do dental implants hurt?

No! The surgical site is kept numb throughout implant surgery. If you experience any mild discomfort as you recover, it can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications

How long do implants last?

Our implants can last a lifetime if well cared for. Proper oral hygiene ensures implant health and longevity.

How do I care for implants?

Caring for your implant teeth is the same as caring for your natural teeth: brush twice and floss once daily. Make sure to keep up with your regular cleanings and checkups at our office.

How much do dental implants cost?

There’s a variety of factors that affect the cost of implant, including the number you’re having placed and your need for bone grafting. When you come in for a consultation, we’ll present you with all the costs upfront. And we make it our job to help you navigate our insurance benefits. We want to do all we can to make sure you get the care you deserve.