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Your natural tooth consists of a root and crown.  A dental implant has basically the same components—both have a crown and both have a root which holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw.  When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and crown.  To replace the missing tooth, we will replace the root with a small dental implant.

Time allows the bone to heal and grow around the dental implant, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post is then places on the implant and a new replacement tooth (the crown) is placed on top.  In many cases, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it’s placed.  If multiple teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available which we can discuss with you.


The dental implant surgical procedure takes 30-60 minutes for one implant and 2-3 hours for multiple implants.  The number of appointments and time required for the procedure vary patient to patient.  

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

Once you’re comfortable, the surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone.  Then the surgeon creates a space to gently insert the titanium plate.  


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

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone will likely grow thinner and shrink.  If this is the case, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted to the area.  This will help ensure the implant is adequately supported when it’s placed in the jaw.


The length of time to heal varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. 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 follow-up visit.  This allows the 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 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.

A soft tissue graft may be beneficial to obtain a stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area surrounding the implant.  This process involved moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant.  Most often it is brief and relatively a 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.


Have questions or want to schedule an appointment?