If you are considering implants, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During the examination, Drs. Bradway or Chiulli will address your specific needs and answer your questions. We will give you a financial quote at the examination as well as request preauthorization from your insurance company, so they can provide you with a more formal estimate of coverage.
Placing an implant takes 30 to 60 minutes per implant. The number of appointments required may vary between patients, as each case must be customized by the periodontist.
Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and oral sedation or intravenous sedation for your comfort. We will discuss these options at your consultation appointment. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed.
The surgeon then makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and twists the titanium implant into place. The implant will usually be visible through the gum, but is occasionally covered by gum tissue in the early stages of healing.
The Healing Phase
The length of healing time varies from patient to patient and depends upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, a tooth crown may be placed on the implant immediately after it is placed. In other cases, your bone may need time to heal before the crown can be placed and used for chewing.
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 implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to heal and develop and provides access to the implant. Follow-up appointments are usually needed to ensure that everything is healing well.
You may benefit from a soft tissue grafting procedure to make your gum tissue stronger, easier to clean, and more natural looking around the implant (please read about this procedure by clicking on "Palate-less Gum Grafting" under the Periodontics tab). T
Once the implant procedure is complete, you will return to your dentist to have a dental crown fitted to the implant. This crown will be made to beautifully match the shape and color of the missing tooth. You will then be able to brush and floss around your new crown as if it were natural tooth.