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A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

March 19, 2024
A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

Are you getting dental implants? Have you been thinking about getting dental implants? Whether or not you’ve made the decision, it can help to know what to expect. Learn everything you need to know from a patient’s guide to the dental implant procedure

What Are Dental Implants? 

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. It is made of titanium and is shaped like a screw with threads to help it fuse with the jaw bone. The fusion process is called osseointegration, which forms a solid bond that can last a lifetime. A crown can be attached to the implant to replace a single tooth. Multiple dental implants can be placed in the jaw to support a bridge or dentures. 

Placing the Implants  

Dental implants are surgically placed in the jaw. The gum tissue must be opened to access the bone, then the implant is placed in the bone and the gum tissue is closed back over the top. A couple of stitches may be used to encourage healing, which will dissolve on their own in a few days to a week. The gum tissue should be fully healed in about 2 weeks. 

Attaching the Abutment 

A few months after the initial placement of the dental implant(s), once it has time to successfully fuse with the bone, the abutment can be attached. This is a small post that extends from the implant out of the gum tissue for the purpose of attaching the prosthetic. The gum tissue must be opened to place the abutment, then closed again around it for healing. 

Attaching the Dental Prosthetic 

The dental prosthetic is the crown, bridge, or dentures that take the place of the natural teeth. This may be attached a few weeks after the abutment, as soon as the tissue is fully healed. A temporary prosthetic may be placed while the permanent one is being made. Once your permanent prosthetic is in place, the dental implant process is complete. 


Going Forward 

After the placement of your dental implant(s) is complete, you will still need regular dental cleanings and exams to monitor the condition of your dental implant and keep your other teeth clean and in good health. You will need to brush and floss around your dental implants and clean under implant supported dentures and bridges to keep your gums healthy. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants 


How long does the dental implant process take? 

It can take a few months to a year to complete the entire dental implant placement process. It may take even longer if you need any preparatory procedures, such as bone grafting. But once it is complete your restoration can last for the rest of your life. 


How many teeth can dental implants replace?

You can have anywhere from one to a whole mouth of teeth replaced with dental implants. Implant supported dentures provide a full set of artificial teeth that are securely anchored in the jaw. They won’t slip out of place when you eat and talk the way traditional dentures can. 


Get Started With a Consultation 

If you’re interested in dental implants to replace one or more teeth, Skoulas DDS would be happy to meet with you to discuss your options. We will answer all of your questions and determine if dental implants are the best option for your oral health. 

Call 415-757-0110 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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San Francisco, CA 94108

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