Dental implants are small, titanium rods that replace tooth roots. The dental implant treatment process begins with an initial surgery. During this first procedure, an oral surgeon or qualified dentist will make a small incision in the gums and then place the implant through the incision. After the implant is placed, a healing period of about four to six months is required for the implant to fuse to the jawbone.
During this healing period, a temporary crown, bridge, or denture can be attached to the implant. Some patients may qualify for Teeth in a Day dentistry, in which a restoration of a full arch of teeth can be placed on the same day as the implant surgery.
After the titanium implant has fused with the bone, a second procedure takes place during which your doctor will attach an abutment to the implant. After a second, shorter healing period, a custom-made restoration (an implant-supported crown, bridge, or denture) can be attached to the abutment.
For most patients, the whole process typically takes about six months.