Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
An representation of a healed upper jaw bone after loosing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
An digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
6. Implant Restored

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

Now the healing begins. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process—you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many implants do I need?

Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.

Associated Dental Care of Helena

5 out of 5 stars based on 2 Dental Implants reviews.

Our Latest Review

Thank you for everything that you have done for myself, family, and friends. You have quite the staff, keep up the good work!

- Casey L

5 out of 5 stars on
Procedure
Dental Implants
Was This Your First Visit?
No
Did You Have Scheduled Appointment?
Yes
Will You Return For Additional Care If Needed?
Yes
Would You Recommend Us To A Friend?
Yes
Courtesy / Friendliness Shown To You By Our Staff Over The Phone:
The staff is very timely and friendly. Customer service is tough to come by anymore, happy to see this practice still values it!
Ease Of Scheduling Your Appointment With Our Office:
Very easy and friendly scheduling staff!
Waiting Time:
I have not waitied longer than 5 minutes for an appointment.
Overall Staff Rating:
Rating: 5
Friendly and welcoming staff across the board.
Overall Doctor Rating:
Rating: 5
Dr. Allen is very personable, professional, passionate about his career. I highly recommend him!

Our Latest Review

My experience at Associated Dental Care of Helena has been a treat. And that's saying something because, you know, it's the "Dentists Office" after all....! My wife had been seen there on several occasions, and when I moved to Helena she recommended that I see her dentist, Dr. Ingrid McLellan, when it came time to do so. Dr. McLellan was a delight to chat with, and was very thorough in explaining procedures and answering the questions I had. Her 'chairside manner' was wonderful, as well as that of her Dental Assitant, Mary. For the implant I'd chosen (to replace a broken tooth), I then saw Dr. Brandon Kiesling. If I'd thought my very positive experience with Dr. McLellan was a fluke, that thought was short-lived. Dr. Kiesling immediately demonstrated a wonderful manner as well, and was also a delight to chat with. Regarding the many technical details of the implant procedure it was reassuring to see that Dr. Kiesling, although a younger dentist, had done this many times before. In fact I would say that 'quiet competence' is what distinguishes the staff here, in my mind, from some other dental offices I've visited. As a patient, this is a great feeling to have. Then one can simply relax, let these obviously very caring professionals do their work, and see how many times you can get them to laugh at your frequently awful jokes 🙂 P.S. - Cleanings with Dental Hygienist Amy have been not only educational for me (down to who's having a sale on the best SonicCare Toothbrush!), but just as pleasant as every other office visit I've had there. Amy has a very tender manner, and touch. Likely, I think, to be quite compatible and reassuring even to those with anxiety about 'going to the dentist'. Great job, Associated Dental Care of Helena! I will recommend you all to anyone I know who is in need of kind, competent dental care 🙂

- Michael C

5 out of 5 stars on
Procedure
Dental Implants
Was This Your First Visit?
No
Did You Have Scheduled Appointment?
Yes
Will You Return For Additional Care If Needed?
Yes
Would You Recommend Us To A Friend?
Yes
Courtesy / Friendliness Shown To You By Our Staff Over The Phone:
Always Excellent!
Ease Of Scheduling Your Appointment With Our Office:
Painless 😉
Waiting Time:
Very Reasonable
Overall Staff Rating:
Rating: 5
Mary, Amy, and Sharon have been wonderful!
Overall Doctor Rating:
Rating: 5
Dr. Ingrid McLellan and Dr. Brandon Kiesling both have an AMAZINGLY great 'chair-side manner'. I've never had such engaging, competent, and patient-friendly dental care!