Steps in Dental Implant Placement
There are three basic means of dental implant placement. Standard placement is generally a three-stage process. Two-stage placement eliminates the need for a second surgery. Finally, immediately loaded implants allow you to have new teeth the same day of surgery. Your doctor will weigh a number of factors in order to determine which procedure is best suited for your particular needs.
Standard (three-stage) placement
Stage I surgery
During this stage, your surgeon will make small incisions at the top of the gum line in order to expose the jaw bone. He or she will use a drill to make small holes in the bone prior to inserting the implants, which are then topped with cover screws (small protective caps). The gums will then be sutured over the implants and you will be given a temporary prosthesis to wear until your new, permanent teeth are placed.
Stage I surgery may take from one to several hours and may be performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. The speed of your recovery from anesthesia will depend on the sedation method used. You can expect to experience swelling for 4 to 7 days, and your sutures will be removed after 7 to 10 days. A soft diet is recommended for the first 4 to 6 weeks following Stage I surgery.
Stage II surgery (abutments and crown preparation)
Stage II surgery takes place after enough time has been provided to allow the implants to take root (osseointegrate) in the jaw bone, usually three to six months after the initial placement. Small incisions will be made to expose the implants so your surgeon can attach and tighten the abutments (the piece that will be used to connect the implant to the crown) in preparation for the restoration. He or she will then suture the gums closed.
Since Stage II surgery is generally performed under local anesthesia, there is virtually no down time. Your sutures will be removed after 7 to 10 days.
Your surgeon may prepare your crowns or refer you to another restorative specialist for this step. Crown preparation requires the new impressions (molds) of your mouth and gums to be taken following implant placement. From these impressions a metal framework that will hold your new teeth will be fabricated. You will have a second appointment to check the fit of the framework.
Stage III restoration
During Stage III restoration your new teeth will be fabricated and fixed to the abutments. Fabrication will take between one and eight weeks depending on how many teeth are being replaced. The teeth are then fitted to the abutments and examined and adjusted to ensure that the size, shape, color, fit and bite alignment are correct.
You will come back for a follow-up visit after about 4 weeks so that Dr. Dehni can examine that the teeth are correctly fitted to the abutment. Follow-up visits may be needed to adjust your bite.
Your doctor will give you detailed follow-up care instructions to keep your new implants and gums in good condition.
If Dr. Dehni identifies you as a suitable candidate for two-stage implant placement or immediately loaded implants, your treatment time may be significantly shorter. These procedures are often used on back teeth.
Immediately loaded implants
With this procedure, the abutments and temporary crowns are placed on the implant during the initial surgery. You will leave the office with new teeth on the same day as your surgery. After a three- to six-month healing period, the temporary crowns will be replaced with permanent custom crowns.
With this type of procedure, the implants are covered with healing caps and left exposed over the gums after the initial surgery. After a three- to six-month healing period during which the gums heal around the implant but do not grow over the healing caps, treatment proceeds to Stage III restoration.
Contact us today to learn more about implant placement or to schedule a smile consultation with Dr. Dehni. We’ll be happy to guide you through each stage of the dental implant process.