How does the dental implant procedure work?

In the last Dental Implant blog post, we discussed the benefits associated with this dental procedure and their ability to improve facial structure, f...

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In the last Dental Implant blog post, we discussed the benefits associated with this dental procedure and their ability to improve facial structure, food habits, overall dental health - and of course their natural and long-lasting oral effect.  However, it can be an extremely daunting process to go through a dental procedure for many patients. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 75% of adults in the United States experience some amount of fear with regards to visiting a dentist. Of that percentage, about 5%-10% of those people have a strong enough fear to be considered sufferers of dental phobia.  With this in mind, understanding how the dental implant process works is of paramount importance for many patients. In order to provide further insight, we have provided an overview of the Dental Implant process.

Overview of Dental Implants

So what exactly is dental implant surgery?  Dental implant surgery is a procedure in which a dentist replaces your tooth roots with artificial ones.  Dental implants are typically a comfortable alternative to dentures or bridgeworks which are renowned for their uncomfortable nature.  How dental implant surgery is performed is highly dependent upon the type of implant that is required and it is different for each individual patient. Factors such as the condition of your jawbone can mean you have to have several procedures in order to get the implants fitted (more info in section 2) As dental implants provide a solid support for your teeth - a major benefit of the procedure - their process requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Due to this, the process can take several months to complete. 

Consultation and Treatment PlanUp to a weeks to Schedule 
ExtractionsA few weeks on average and up to 10 days healing
Bone GraftingMight take up to a few weeks to schedule and can include up to 12 months of healing 
Implant placementA couple of hours 
Osseointegration4 months for your lower jawbone and 6 months for your upper jawbone 
Healing Collar14 days
Abutment Placement2 weeks of healing
Temporary Crown6 weeks while the permanent one is being made
Artificial Tooth 2 dental visits
Post-ProcedureFew days to heal, check up weeks after the final procedure 

Consultation and Treatment Plan 

The first step to getting a dental implant is a consultation. This process may involve an X-ray and/or teeth impressions.  Your medical history is likely to be reviewed at this point to highlight whether you have any underlying health problems which could pose a risk during your surgery.  Once this is complete, a treatment plan can be devised. You will be informed about what is going to happen during each step of the way and how you should prepare for the Implants procedure. 

Associated Procedures 

You may need to receive additional procedures in the process of getting dental implants. The most common is bone grafting and tooth extractions.  If you still have a tooth where the implant is due to be inserted, then an extraction will be required. This is a fairly simple procedure taking no more than 30 minutes to complete.  You may also need bone grafting which is a more complex process. This procedure involves thickening the jawbone if it is too thin or soft to support implants. The procedure involves sourcing the bone tissue from a tissue bank that prepares bone from a cadaver. The graft does not have cells and works as a scaffold allowing the patient’s bone to regrow. This process can take anywhere between 4-6 months, which means your implant can only be inserted after this period. 

Dental Implant Surgery 

For the dental implant surgery itself, the dentist will normally use a local injection to numb your mouth and ensure the process is as pain-free as possible.  The next step will involve a dentist making a small incision within your mouth, to enable the metal implant to be inserted in the appropriate position. 


After the surgery is complete, the next stage of the dental implant procedure is known as osseointegration. Osseointegration refers to the process of the bond between the physical bone and the surface of the artificial tooth replacement - the dental implant. This process can take on average anywhere between 3 to 6 months.  Once this stage passes, you will receive a healing collar - which is basically a piece of metal that prevents your gums from growing over the implant. These remain on your teeth for a 2 week period. 

Abutment Placement 

The next step of the implant process is abutment placement. Abutments have the main benefit of cultivating gum healing around the implant and are usually made of titanium or zirconia.  These dental connectors can be applied at the same time or after the implant placement procedure. You will be advised on when this will occur during your consultation. 

Dental Implant Procedure

The final stage of the dental implant procedure involves the placing of the crown or bridge. Once your gums have fully healed, the dentist will insert a naturally looking prosthetic tooth in your gum to create a natural and seamless finish. Dr. Procopio is a specialist in Dental Implants and has extensive knowledge and experience of these specific procedures. The costs of Implants are also now more affordable. 

Our single implant procedure price cost ranges between $3,000-$6,000. If you have insurance, we will have to verify, if implant is a covered benefit. 

Call Procopio Towle Dental Office and schedule your Free Implant Consultation and Complimentary X-Rays.

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