The Dental Implant Procedure Steps
If you’re about to undergo the dental implant procedure, you may have questions about the steps involved. The dental implant procedure may take one day or several months, depending on your unique condition. Everyone’s dental implant process is unique, so you must consult a dental implant clinic for an overview of your treatment steps. However, we provide an overview of the dental implant procedure steps to help you gauge what you can expect.
Step 1: Initial Consultation
The dental implant procedure starts with a personalized consultation with the tooth implant specialist. The dental implant surgeon will examine your teeth, determine if you need dental implants, and perform diagnostic tests to gauge your overall oral health. Based on the results of the diagnostic test, the dental implant surgeon will curate the ideal dental implant treatment plan, including whether you need additional tooth extractions or bone grafts for implants. The dental implant surgeon will also select the appropriate prosthetics for your implants.
Step 2: Bone Graft for Implant (If Necessary)
You need a strong and stable jawbone to receive dental implants. Once the dental implant is placed, your natural jawbone tissues need to fuse with the implant surface, making the dental implant an integrated part of your anatomy. Without enough jawbone tissues, you can’t get dental implants. If you have insufficient jawbone tissues, the dental implant surgeon may recommend a bone graft for the implant. The bone grafting procedure involves placing bone graft materials into the implanted socket to facilitate natural jawbone regeneration.
Step 3: Dental Implant Surgery
If you have sufficient jawbone tissues, or after the bone grafting procedure, the dental implant surgeon can proceed with surgery. The dental implant surgery is performed as an in-office procedure under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The dental implant surgeon will drill an access hole into the jawbone underneath the empty socket of the missing tooth. The titanium implant will be placed into the jawbone, following which the incisions will be sutured. Once the implant is placed, your body will initiate the natural healing process.
Step 4: Osseointegration
Osseointegration is a natural process whereby your jawbone tissues fuse with the dental implant surface. Once the dental implant is placed, your jawbone tissues start growing in and around the implant surface, making the implant an integrated part of your dental anatomy. The osseointegration process usually takes 4 to 6 months, but it happens in the background without your conscious awareness. In most cases, the dental implant surgeon must wait until the end of the healing period to proceed with the next steps.
Step 5: Abutment Placement
After osseointegration, the tooth implant specialist can proceed with dental abutment placement. The abutment is the connective device — it connects the implant to the prosthetic component. The dental implant surgeon will make an incision on the gum tissues to attach the abutment to the dental implant, following which you undergo another healing process. This time around, the dental implant surgeon must wait a few weeks for your soft tissues (gums) to heal completely. However, in some cases, this process can be skipped.
Step 6: Prosthetic Placement
Once your gingival tissues have healed completely, the dental implant surgeon can proceed with prosthetic placement. Depending on your unique needs, the dental implant specialist will attach a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture to the implant(s). The tooth implant specialist takes impressions of your mouth to design the ideal dental crowns and bridges for you. Once the prosthetic is prepared, it’s attached to the dental implant, replacing the natural tooth. This is the final stage of the dental implant process.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
The duration of the entire dental implant procedure varies from one individual to the next. Dental implant surgery only takes one or two hours, depending on the number of implants, but the overall process may take several months. The specific length of the dental implant procedure depends on whether you also need a tooth extraction, bone grafts for implants, and other preliminary procedures.
Can dental implants be done in one day?
In some cases, dental implants can be placed in one day. If you have optimal oral health and sufficient jawbone tissues, the dental implant surgeon may complete the entire dental implant procedure in one session, allowing you to walk out of the dental implant clinic with a perfect smile. However, please contact our dental implant surgeon to determine if you qualify for the same-day dental implant procedure.
How long is recovery after dental implants?
After receiving dental implants, you must avoid certain food items for a few days, but your normal diet can be resumed after a week. You may experience post-treatment side effects, including discomfort and swelling, for a few days after the dental implant surgery. However, the overall recovery process may continue in the background for up to 6 weeks — that’s how long it takes for your natural jawbone tissues to fuse with the dental implant surface.
Top Dental Implant Surgeons in Houston
URBN Dental is one of the leading dental implant clinics in Houston, led by one of the country’s leading dental implant dentists — Dr. Jiman Nelson. Our top dental implant surgeons understand your unique goals and requirements to curate the safest and most efficient dental implant process. You can find our state-of-the-art dental implant clinic in Montrose at 3201 Allen Pkwy, a short drive from West University Place, Upper Kirby, and River Oaks. Please schedule an appointment to meet your tooth implant specialist near me.