• Dental implant surgery offers an alternative for people who can't or don't want to wear dentures. The process may involve different dental specialists, may require bone grafts, and can extend from three to over nine months.

    Bone Grafting

    Because the surgery places artificial teeth in the jawbone, your bone must be hard and thick enough to support the implants. Otherwise you will need bone grafts or transplants from other bone in your body which then require six to nine months to grow enough to support an implant.

    Placing the Implant

    The dentist places you under local or general anesthesia, depending on your choice, cuts your gum open to expose the bone, then drills into the bone, and inserts the implant cylinder. Since a gap remains for the artificial tooth, you may choose to wear a temporary denture.


    You cannot receive your new tooth until your jawbone grows and joins with the implant cylinder surface to create a solid base. This may require two to six months.

    Placing the Abutment

    You can have your dentist attach the abutment to the implant at the same time or at a later time. Your dentist eventually attaches the crown to the abutment, but you must wait up to two weeks for your gums to heal before that step.

    Attaching the Crown

    The dentist makes impressions of your mouth and teeth to make the crown, or artificial tooth. You can choose between a removable tooth on a metal frame that snaps into place, or have your dentist permanently attach a tooth to the abutment.

    Adverse Effects

    You may experience temporary discomfort after each stage of the implant process. Typical symptoms include localized bruising, swelling, bleeding, and pain. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or pain medicine. You may have to eat only soft foods during healing.


    Mayo Clinic: Dental implant surgery

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