Dental Implant Surgery: What Happens During the Procedure?

A dental implant procedure is a minor but invasive dental surgery that involves making an incision on a patient’s gum tissue to expose the jaw bone. Its goal is to provide a solid foundation for artificial teeth that replace missing teeth. Before you undergo this procedure, it’s a good idea to know what happens during surgery so you can prepare for it.

Read on to learn more.

What Are The Steps Of Dental Implant Surgery?

Here’s a summary of the typical steps involved in this dental treatment:

  • Administering the Anaesthesia
    The first step of the surgery is to numb the area around the implant site with local anaesthesia. This is to minimise any discomfort or pain during surgery. Sometimes, your dentist or oral surgeon will give you other anaesthetics, such as general anaesthesia, to help you relax if you fear dental procedures. Depending on what you have discussed during your initial consultation, they may also give sedatives, such as inhaled gas, oral pills, or intravenous sedatives.
  • Making the Incision
    Next, your dentist will make an incision on your gum tissue to expose the jawbone. Sometimes, a small flap of tissue will be lifted so the implant can be placed directly into the bone.

  • Implant Placement
    Once the implant site is exposed, your dentist will insert the implant into the hole drilled into the bone. In some cases, a metal post called an abutment would be placed on top of the implant before the incision is closed.The most common type of material for dental or teeth implants is titanium. They are tiny, screw-like metal posts that are biocompatible with the human body.

  • Closing the Incision
    After placing the implant, your dentist will close the incision with stitches. The type of suture used will depend on the size and location of the incision. In some cases, a dissolvable suture is used so that it will not have to be removed later.Before you go home, your dentist will prescribe pain medications and give you instructions on how you should take care of your newly inserted implants. This is to avoid complications or even implant failure.

  • Healing and Osseointegration
    The next step is for the implant site to heal. This process, called osseointegration, can take several months. During this period, the implant should fuse with the surrounding bone and become secure enough to support an artificial tooth. 

    Once osseointegration is complete, you must return to your dentist’s office to have the artificial tooth placed on top of the implant. You may also visit your dentist a few times during your healing time to check that the implant site is healing properly.

  • Placing of the Artificial or False Teeth
    The final step is to place the artificial teeth on top of the implant, which could be a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Depending on your case, this can be done in a single visit or multiple visits.In some cases, temporary replacement teeth are placed on top of the teeth implants while permanent ones are being made. Once ready, they will be attached to the implants.

How Long Does The Dental Implant Procedure Take?

Typically, the procedure takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of your case. It may take longer if you get multiple implants or if there are complications.

Are You Awake During The Dental Surgery?

In most cases, you will be awake during this oral surgery. Local anaesthesia is used to numb the area around the implant site. For patients who have dental fears, dentists may use other anaesthetics, such as general anaesthesia or sedatives.

Here are the anaesthesia options available for this procedure:

  • Local Anaesthesia
    This type of anaesthesia numbs the area around the implant site and is the most commonly used for a dental implant procedure. You are awake during the implant treatment surgery and can go home the same day. The effects wear off after a few hours, and you may be able to drive yourself home.

  • Sedatives
    There are three types of sedatives, and all of them make you feel drowsy and relaxed but awake. You can also respond to questions and follow simple commands.

    1. The first type is oral sedatives as a pill, which you should take at least an hour before your dental implant procedure.
    2. The second type is inhaled gas, such as nitrous oxide. Your dentist will put a mask over your nose, and you will breathe in the gas. The effects wear off a few minutes after removing the mask, but you shouldn’t drive home.
    3. The third type is intravenous (IV) sedation, which is administered through a needle in your arm. The effects of IV sedation are more intense than oral or inhaled gas sedation.

  • General Anaesthesia
    This type of anaesthesia puts you to sleep during the procedure. It is used in cases where the patient fears dental procedures or when multiple implants are being placed.

Final Thoughts

Teeth implants are a popular tooth replacement option to achieve a more beautiful smile and boost your confidence. While the surgery involved is usually safe, you should know what typically transpires during the procedure if you consider getting it. This way, you can prepare for it and know what to expect.

If you still have concerns and want to know if you are a good candidate for tooth implants, call our clinic to book an appointment

Timberlands Dental Clinic is equipped with advanced dental equipment to allow us to provide quality services. We use only the latest technology in all our procedures. This includes 3D imaging, which enables us to create a detailed treatment plan for each dental implant patient. Also, we want you to be well-informed before proceeding with the procedure so that you can make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Your dentist can place a temporary tooth on top of the implant while you wait for your gum tissue to heal and your implant to integrate with your bone to support a permanent tooth. This is especially helpful if you are missing front teeth and are concerned about your appearance. Your dentist will use temporary crowns or bridges to cover the teeth gaps. They may not be as strong as natural teeth, but they can help you eat and speak normally. 

While placing the implants takes 1 to 2 hours, the entire dental implant process can take up to 6 months or more to complete. This depends on the type of implant, the number of implants placed, and the complexity of your case.

This varies, depending on many factors, such as the type of dental implant you require, the number of implants to be placed, the complexity of your case, your location and dentist, and whether or not you have dental insurance that can cover a portion of the cost. In some cases, you may also need separate procedures, such as a dental bone graft or sinus lift, before the implant procedure, which adds to the total cost. But on average, treatment costs around $3,000 to $5,500 per tooth. Ask your dentist for a cost breakdown to know what to expect.

Many patients experience some swelling and discomfort for the first few days after their surgical procedure. Most people report that they feel better after a week. But it usually takes two weeks for your gums to heal completely. Your dentist may ask you to return to their clinic a few times after surgery to check on your progress.