Overview of Implant Placement

The Surgical Procedure

The length of the procedure to place a dental implant varies depending on the number of implants, the need for bone and/or soft tissue grafting, and the conditions of the area. It generally takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and under three hours for multiple implants in complex situations. The number of follow-up appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient.

Prior to surgery, you may need to take antibiotics and for greater comfort, sedatives may be prescribed. Prescriptions will be given to you in advance and the procedures will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.  Dr. Ronderos and our assistants will care for your comfort every step of the way.

Once you are perfectly numb and comfortable, Dr. Ronderos makes a small incision in the gum tissue, prepares the site, and inserts the titanium implant. On top of this implant we will place a small healing cap that will extend up to the gum level. Sometimes the dental implant will be completely covered by the gum tissue to let the healing occur in a completely closed environment.  The use of 3D imaging and 4.5x magnification loupes allow us to do your procedure in the least invasive way possible. 

We can often extract a damaged tooth and immediately place the dental implant; this is often done in cases involving single-rooted front teeth.  When replacing front teeth, depending on the conditions, we sometimes fabricate and deliver implant-supported temporary crowns to preserve the anatomy of the gum, and to provide temporary esthetic tooth replacement. 

If the procedure is being performed towards the front of the mouth, we will generally coordinate with your dentist for the fabrication of temporary esthetic replacement tooth/teeth.  

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Healthy condition
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
A representation of a healed upper jaw bone after loosing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
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

The final crown or tooth replacement that will be supported by the dental implant will be fabricated and installed by your restorative dentist.  The length of time between the implant placement and the installation of the final restoration varies depending on the quality and quantity of bone, and other factors. In some cases, implants may be restored with temporary restorations immediately after they are placed. Dr. Ronderos will advise you on follow-up care and timing.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement teeth (crowns) to the dental implants.  Our office will keep your dentist informed every step of the way and will coordinate with your dentist, as needed, during the course of treatment.

When are dental implants placed?

At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. Immediate implant placement is often done when replacing front teeth and premolars. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement may not be the best treatment.  In most cases involving back teeth, the tooth will be extracted, a ridge preservation procedure will be performed, and the implant will be placed after a 2-4 month healing period.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, you may have lost some bone in the area. The bone that surrounds the root of a tooth tends to shrink during healing after the tooth is extracted, and this shrinkage can progress over time. This occurs because there is no root to stimulate the bone. As much as one-third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following a 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.  Bone grafting, if needed, can often be performed at the same time of placing the dental implant. Dr. Rondeos will evaluate the available bone and determine the best treatment for you.