Implant procedures can be performed in the dental office with local anesthesia.
The actual implant procedure involves several steps:
1. The implant or implants are surgically placed into the jaw.
2. The jaw is allowed to heal for a period of up to six months. During this stage, the bone grows and bonds in and around the implant (this is also known as osseointegration). The dentist may create a temporary tooth replacement for the patient to wear over the implant site during the healing period usually about 4-6 months.
3. The implant is uncovered, and a connector piece called an abutment is attached. The gum is again allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure (two-stage).
4. The restoration or crown is fabricated and permanently attached to the abutment.
Sometimes implants are placed and not covered by the gum tissue (one-stage) that do not require step 3 above. Either the implant system already has the abutment attached or the surgeon does not feel that covering the implant is needed for a normal healing process. The implant procedure is cooperative effort between the surgical dentist who does the actual implant placement and your restorative dentist who creates and inserts the final replacement teeth.