Overview of Implant Placement
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.
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 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.
BEFORE AND AFTER GALLERY
Cosmetic and Family dentist in Seattle, WA
Kim’s teeth had been both victim of neglect and dental fear. She was read to have her smile back. As we progressed through her treatment, Kim’s confidence grew, and her gorgeous new smile says it all!
Kim finally built up the courage to visit our office during the start of the pandemic. Her emotional story of fear and poor dentistry was presented with honesty and commitment and demanded our attention. We reviewed her x-rays and diagnostics along with leveraged compassion, care, and dental expertise to create a smile that left everyone filled with joy. We don’t fix teeth; we fix patients. In Kim’s case, we were able to not only improve her smile, but eliminate her dental fears!
Craig’s teeth were damaged from years of clenching and grinding due to stress. We came up with a plan to restore Craig’s smile and self-esteem!
Craig’s teeth suffered from years of neglect, resulting in a significant number of cavities, and punishing results of clenching and grinding (bruxism), especially at night. We sat down for a one-on-one consultation to develop a custom plan with the goal of restoring his smile and maintaining it for long-term success. Craig’s commitment and enthusiasm spread throughout our team as we custom-built his plan. His treatment resulted in a cosmetically pleasing, functional smile that was designed to resist any future stresses from bruxism.
Dr. Aranka gave a lifetime commitment to his patients and community but did not give himself a lifetime of care for his oral health. We created a fabulous smile for him, and he shows it to us every day!
Dr. Aranka is a retired local physician who stepped through our doors. He was unhappy with his smile and the condition of his oral health. He was tired of quick fixes that ultimately did not last. We sat together in the consultation room and outlined a vision for a long-term solution that would give him a healthy, functioning, and aesthetically pleasing smile. Dr. Aranka now comes in every day smiling and thankful for what our team has provided him.
Marco didn’t like his smile but didn’t know what to do about it. Our initial consultation included examples of what could change, and now Marco couldn’t be happier with his smile!
Marco recently semi-retired from his career in commercial real estate. He’s always been a bubbly, funny man but always seemed to have a reservation about his smile. One day I asked Marco if he liked his smile, and he said he didn’t. So I invited him to a consultation and showed him all the changes that could be made aesthetically, from his gum line to coloration to lip support. We did a little recontouring for his lower arch, light dentistry for his upper arch, and a tooth bleaching, and Marco is now thrilled to share his smile.
Alexa didn’t like how her teeth looked and was ready for a smile transformation. She had overcome major life obstacles and was ready for a smile to match her new life. After neglecting her dental health for over 10 years, she made the brave decision to visit our office for a consultation.
Alexa and I discussed her smile goals and treatment options for long-term success. She put her full trust in us and completed multiple procedures including crown lengthening, implants, and full mouth reconstruction. As her treatment progressed, her confidence grew dramatically! We completed Botox and lip/cheek filler to enhance her already beautiful features and she could not be happier with the final results. Alexa is no longer scared of the dentist and her smile lights up any room she walks into!
“Dr. Chilton and his team just make you feel like you’re a part of the family”
“The process was exceptional”
“Dr. Chilton was patient, confident and enthusiastic.”
“When I came here, I knew this was the place for me.”
“You don’t feel like a number, you feel like a patient.”
“What makes Olympic View Dental different from most dentists, is that they don’t have Dr. Chilton…”