What Happens During Dental Implant Surgery?
Having a dental implant fitted can seem a little daunting, but our team of experienced professionals are available to talk through any concerns you may have and provide you with all the information you need about your individual process.
A dental implant is a titanium screw that acts a replacement to the root of a tooth. It integrates with the bone over time, then an abutment (a connecting part between the screw and crown) is screwed onto the implant and the crown is attached on top. While every patient is different, there is a general process for fitting an implant.
Before your surgery
After your consultation to determine your requirements and the treatment costs, you will receive a clinical assessment with an implant dentist. If you are a suitable candidate for implants, a dental cone beam CT (CBCT) scan is taken to evaluate the quality and quantity of the bone. You will be given all the information on your treatment process and aftercare in a detailed treatment plan.
How the dental implant is fitted
Your oral surgeon will cut open your gum to expose the bone, then holes are drilled where the metal screw section of the dental implant will sit. The implant is fitted deep into the bone to allow it to act in the same way as the root of a tooth would.
You will still have a gap where the replacement tooth will be fitted while the process of ‘osseointegration’ (the dental implant integrating and fusing with the surrounding bone) takes place. This can take anywhere from 2 to 8 months depending on your treatment plan.
Placing the abutment
Once the metal implant has completely united with the bone and there is a solid base to attach a new, artificial tooth, you may require additional surgery to place the abutment. This is how the crown will eventually be attached.
The gum above the fitted dental implant may be reopened, and once the abutment is attached to the implant (sometimes this is done at the same time as implant placement), the gum tissue is closed around it to hold it in place.
Fitting your crown, bridge or denture
This is what we call the restoration phase of your treatment. It can last between 2 to 6 appointments and there is a 2-week gap between each one.
Your appointments may vary depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, but will generally include:
How long do procedures take?
The surgery times will all depend upon your individual treatment plan. Initial fitting of the implant can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, with a 2 to 8-month period of ‘osseointegration’ afterward. All options will be discussed with you, so you have a clear and concise plan of how everything will go.
Aftercare: what happens after surgery?
We provide aftercare and advice to help you make the most of your dental implants. You must follow an improved hygiene regime that will help the longevity of your implants, we will prescribe techniques to help you do this.
We recommend that you visit a hygiene therapist at least once every 6 months plus return annually to assess your general oral hygiene and help you with any issues that may arise.