How long does the procedure last and
is it painful?

Dental implants can be placed by qualified specialists, such as a Periodontist, an Oral Surgeon, or a Prosthodontist.  Nearly all implant procedures are performed with local anesthesia in the office and a comfortable dental chair.  For more extensive work you may request other sedative methods, which you can discuss with your Oral Surgeon or Periodontist.  Normally, no pain is felt during the surgical procedures, and afterwards mild and brief soreness is the only complaint.  However, depending upon the number of implants placed, there may be swelling and/or tenderness for a few days following the surgery.  Pain medication is usually prescribed which alleviates any discomfort.  Patients generally prefer a soft foods diet for the healing period following surgery.

What is the procedure like?
There are actually two phases to implant dentistry:

Phase 1:

Using very accurate surgical techniques, an incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into dimentionally controlled sites (depth and width) in the jawbone. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong base.

Phase 2:

Creating and fixing the new tooth or teeth to the implant structure constitutes the second and final phase. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures

The time for entire osseointegration process for an implant varies depending on the location in the mouth.  Typically the mandibular anterior (lower front) area of the mouth has the fastest healing time and the maxillary posterior (upper back) area has the longest healing time.  The fabrication of a new teeth can be accomplished in as little as three months for a single crown, but for several implants or replacing a complete denture with permanent teeth may require five to six months.   Every case is different, and your medical health and habits can effect the success of the integration.

Dental implant patients range from age nine to ninety nine.  A single congenitally missing tooth can dramatically change the life of a child, however implant placement in the growing child is normally delayed until the individual reaches 18-20 years of age.

Implant Questions and Answers
 

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