Updated on February 7, 2024
9 min read

Dental Implant Procedure

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Dental Implant Procedure Steps

Here’s what to expect during dental implant surgery:

1. Initial consultation

At your first visit, your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants with a comprehensive examination.

This will include thorough medical and dental histories, a clinical evaluation, and advanced digital imaging. You’ll also discuss if you need any other surgical procedures like a bone graft or sinus augmentation to ensure sufficient bone to place the implant. 

2. Implant placement 

Your surgical process will include your dentist administering local anesthesia so you are numb and comfortable. Some patients use Nitrous Oxide or General Anesthesia if they have dental anxiety. 

You may need a tooth extraction before your implant or at the time of implant placement. Many people also require bone grafting to ensure more support for their jawbone and dental implant. 

The dentist will gently insert the titanium implant screw into the jawbone and suture it up so your gum tissue can heal. The implant screw will serve as the tooth root for your new artificial tooth. A post-surgical radiograph will be taken. 

3. Healing process

Once your implants are placed, it will take several months to heal.

During this time,  your implant will osseointegrate, or fuse, into your jawbone. Your dentist will carefully monitor you for a few months to ensure you are ready for a custom restoration.

4. Custom prosthetic

Once properly healed, your dentist will evaluate you and create an impression for the custom restoration. Your healing cap is removed so the dentist can prepare for your restoration. 

Whether you need a single crown, an implant bridge, or a full arch denture, you will receive a custom prosthetic that will naturally match your adjacent teeth. Once designed and prepared by the laboratory, your dentist will permanently insert your prosthetic to give you a new, long-lasting smile. 

5. Follow-up

You must follow up with your dentist a few days after the procedure to ensure you’re healing correctly and there is no infection.

You may need a dental x-ray at one of your follow-ups to determine if the implant is correctly osseointegrated into your jaw bone.

What Is a Dental Implant?

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Dental implants are the leading treatment option for missing teeth. 

A dental implant replaces missing teeth using a biocompatible titanium screw surgically inserted into the jawbone. A custom abutment connects the implant screw to a personalized restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture to help create an artificial tooth.

Types of Dental Implants

Implants can vary based on the type you need and your dentist. The most common types of dental implants are:

Single Tooth Implants


Single-tooth implants replace a single missing tooth. They use one screw to replace a singular tooth. 

Implant Retained Bridges

implant supported bridge NewMouth scaled 1

Implant-retained bridges replace several missing teeth. This dental implant can use a natural tooth or an implant as an anchor. It can also improve your speech and eating function. 

Implant-Retained Dentures

Implant Retained Dentures Newmouth

Implant-retained dentures replace an entire arch or both arches. They usually use 4 to 6 implants depending on the bone level. 

The dentures stay fixed in your mouth, and dentists will only remove them for cleaning. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Implants?

For dental implants to be successful, you need to be in good medical health and have optimal bone levels.

Not everyone is eligible for dental implant surgery. If you have any chronic medical conditions or inflammation, it can compromise the dental implant healing process. 

Immunocompromised individuals with cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune deficiencies, and similar conditions may need to discuss other treatment options depending on their condition.

How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take? 

The surgical process usually lasts about 60 minutes, depending on your needed implants.

With surgical guides and advanced dental imaging, your dentist or oral surgeon has an accurate idea of where to place the implants for optimal success. 

Can Dental Implants be Done in One Day?

Some dental offices claim they can perform dental implants in a single session.

Dental implants in a single visit depend on your bone levels and health. However, many dentists will wait at least 4 to 6 months before attaching a prosthesis, so there is less chance of failure. 

Is it Painful to Get Dental Implants?

Dental implants may be slightly uncomfortable following the procedure. However, your dentist will administer local anesthetic to ensure you are comfortable throughout treatment. 

You can expect the following after your procedure: 

  • Pain — It’s recommended to take over-the-counter pain medication as needed.
  • Swelling — Use a cold compress or ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation. You can also rinse with a salt rinse or antibacterial mouthwash to decrease the chances of infection.
  • Bruising — You may notice temporary bruising around the surgical site. Bruising is normal, but contact your dentist if you bruise more than expected. 
  • Eating — Avoid biting into hard candy or crunchy foods that can disrupt the surgical implant site. Eat soft foods as directed by your dentist to keep the implant stable.
  • Sutures — Many dentists will place self-resorbing sutures that dissolve within 7 to 10 days. If your dentist placed sutures that do not resorb, you would need them removed by your dentist. 

How Long is the Recovery Process? 

You can plan for your implant to take up to six months (from start to finish).

Remember that the dental implant process is not an overnight procedure. It’s an oral surgery that will require healing. The recovery process may take more depending on:

  • Your healing process
  • If you need a bone graft
  • If your dental implant properly fuses into the jaw bone

Dental implants are highly successful if you follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions. The hope is this new artificial tooth will last you a lifetime. 

Is Any Follow-Up Care Necessary for Dental Implants?

It’s 100% recommended and necessary to follow up with your dentist after dental implant surgery. The dentist must evaluate if your implant site is healing well and if there is no infection. 

The typical follow-up care for dental implants will usually include:

  • 2-week follow-up — Observation of healing, suture removal, post-surgical instructions, and care to ensure there is no infection
  • 6-week follow-up — Review oral hygiene and evaluate healing of soft tissue. Your dentist may take a radiograph to compare to pre-implant bone density and if your implant is healing well.
  • 3-month follow-up Radiographs are taken to evaluate for osseointegration (fusing) and bone levels. It will be determined if you’re ready for your implant to be uncovered and for the restorative stage of your treatment. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implant procedures are popular because they offer several benefits. These benefits include:

Natural Appearance

Dental implants feel and look a lot like your natural teeth. Dentists will customize the artificial teeth to look like your missing tooth. As such, dental implants are an excellent choice for those who want to achieve a seamless and natural smile. 


Dental implants can last up to 30 years, making them one of the most long-lasting dental procedures. With proper care and maintenance, your implants can even last a lifetime. 

Promotes Jawbone Health

Dental implants can act like artificial tooth roots. When you lose a tooth, the area and surrounding teeth can deteriorate over time. 

After dental implant placement, the implant can mimic the function of a natural tooth root. This forms a bond that can help safeguard your jawbone from further deterioration.

Easy Maintenance

Dental implants are relatively easy to maintain compared to other dental procedures. There’s usually no need for special care. 

Maintenance is similar to how you would take care of your natural teeth. It includes regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. 

How Much Do Implants Cost? 

The average cost of a dental implant (by type) is as follows:

  • Single tooth implant ⁠— $2,000 to $4,000 for the implant screw 
  • Implant-supported bridge ⁠— $5,000 to $15,000 depending on how many dental crowns you need
  • Implant-supported denture ⁠— $10,000 to $25,000 depending on how many implants and the material of your prosthetic

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implant Treatment?

Implant coverage depends on your insurance policy. Many insurances don’t cover implants because they’re considered cosmetic. 

There are also substitution treatments for missing teeth, like dental bridges or dentures. These treatments are covered by insurance. 

If your insurance has implant benefits, you usually have a percentage that will be paid out-of-pocket.

Without dental insurance, implants are a positive investment in your well-being and dental health. Costs will primarily depend on: 

  • The type of implants you need
  • Your dentist
  • Where you live
  • If you need any additional surgeries or treatments like a bone graft
  • If you need a dental prosthetic like an abutment and crown

Potential Risks and Complications of Dental Implants

Dental implant surgery comes with potential risks and complications like other dental procedures. These include:

  • Infection ⁠— This may occur when you have poor oral hygiene or through bacterial contamination during surgery
  • Nerve or tissue damage ⁠— Like other surgical procedures, dental implant surgery can put you at risk of nerve or tissue damage
  • Gum recession ⁠— Gum recession may happen over time after you receive dental implants, affecting the procedure’s long-term results
  • Bite problems ⁠— This can happen when the dental implants aren’t positioned properly inside your mouth 
  • Implant failure ⁠— Sometimes, dental implants won’t integrate properly with the jawbone and other parts of your mouth 

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants

Proper care for your dental implants is essential to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips to follow:

Proper Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is vital to dental implant maintenance. To practice proper oral hygiene, brushing your at least twice a day is essential. You should gently brush your teeth and use an electric toothbrush if possible. 

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular check-ups can help dentists detect any problems with your dental implants early on. They can monitor your dental health and perform cleanings to remove any hardened dental plaque on your implants. 

Avoid Tobacco Use

Tobacco use can result in implant failure and other dental implant-related complications. Avoid smoking or at least reduce your tobacco use to improve the longevity of your dental implants. 

Protect Your Teeth

Your dental implants are still susceptible to damage from teeth grinding or trauma. You can protect your teeth using a night guard while sleeping or a mouth guard when playing contact sports. 


  • Dental implants are a popular dental procedure to replace missing teeth. 
  • It’s a surgical procedure that can be completed in a single session and offers various benefits. 
  • The cost of dental implants varies depending on the type and your insurance coverage.
  • Dental implants provide long-lasting results, but proper care and maintenance are essential. 

Last updated on February 7, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. “Facts & Figures.” American College of Prosthodontists, 2020. 
  2. D’Souza et al. “Types of Implant Surgical Guides in Dentistry: A Review.” J Oral Implantol, 2012.
  3. Quirynen et al. “Infectious risks for oral implants: a review of the literature.” Clin Oral Implants Res, 2002.
  4. Warreth et al. “Dental implants: An overview.” Dental Update, 2017. 
  5. Wingrove, S. “Peri-Implant Therapy for the Dental Hygienist: Clinical Guide to Maintenance and Disease Complications.” Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  6. Gupta et al. “Dental Implants.” [Updated 2023 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023.
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