Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Surgical Advances in Dental Implants

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Vigliante and Dr. Bowler are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Drs. Vigliante and Bowler perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

Timelines to Implant Placement

Extraction & Dental Implant Placement

Surgical Phase

Extraction of Tooth and Socket Preservation Bone Graft
The surgical appointment is about 45 minutes in duration. After the tooth is removed, a socket preservation bone graft is used to “preserve” the bone in and around the socket for implant placement in the future. The tooth removal and bone graft can be performed with local anesthesia alone or a combination of local anesthesia and IV Sedation. (Human donor bone is used unless other options have been discussed.)

Post Surgical Period

You can expect the surgical area to be sore for about 1 week; however, most people return to work and most activities the following day. We recommend refraining from strenuous physical activity and swimming for 1 week. At surgery, you will receive detailed post operative care instructions in writing. You should start gently rinsing with the antimicrobial mouth rinse approx. 5 days after surgery unless otherwise stated.

Post Surgical Appointments

6 weeks and 12 weeks later
Your Specialist (Drs. Vigliante or Bowler) will examine your healing, discuss your progress, answer any questions, and schedule your dental implant placement appointment.

Dental Implant Placement

4 months after Tooth Removal and Bone Graft
The bone graft needs approximately 4 months to mature and become part of your jaw bone. Placement of your dental implant will be performed at this appointment. The surgical appointment is about 45 minutes in duration. A surgical guide may need to be fabricated to guide implant placement depending on the implant location. The dental implant placement can be performed with local anesthesia alone or a combination of local anesthesia and IV Sedation.

Surgical Release

3 months after Dental Implant Placement
Your Specialist will check the implant for healing and prepare it for the final restoration. We will notify your dentist of your surgical release, and arrange for your appointment.

Restorative Phase

Final Crown Fabrication
Depending on your case, 2 appointments with your dentist are usually required for crown fabrication. We will coordinate your first dental implant appointment at the time of your surgical release. Your second dental implant appointment will be made by your dentist since he or she will know when your final crown and abutment will be ready. The first appointment is an impression of your implant and the second is to place the abutment and final crown. We encourage you to talk to your dentist regarding fees for the restorative phase prior to beginning surgery.

Standard Dental Implant Placement

Surgical Phase

Dental Implant Placement
The surgical appointment is about 45 minutes in duration. A surgical guide may need to be fabricated to guide implant placement depending on the implant location. If a bone graft is not needed prior to implant placement, a dental implant can be placed right away in the toothless area. In some cases, depending on your anatomy, a bone graft may need to be performed along with dental implant placement. (Human donor bone is used unless other options have been discussed.). The dental implant placement can be performed with local anesthesia alone or a combination of local anesthesia and IV Sedation.

Post Surgical Period

You can expect the surgical area to be sore for about 1 week; however, most people return to work and most activities the following day. We recommend refraining from strenuous physical activity and swimming for 1 week. At surgery, you will receive detailed post operative care instructions in writing. You should start gently rinsing with the antimicrobial mouth rinse approx. 1 day after surgery unless otherwise stated.

Post Surgical Appointments

1 week, 6 weeks, 12 weeks later
Your specialist (Drs. Vigliante or Bowler) will examine your healing, discuss your progress, answer any questions, and schedule your dental implant placement appointment. The dental implant needs approximately 3 months to mature and become attached to your jaw bone.

Surgical Release

3 months after Dental Implant Placement
Your Specialist will check the implant for healing and prepare it for the final restoration. We will notify your dentist of your surgical release, and arrange for your appointment.

Restorative Phase

Final Crown Fabrication
Depending on your case, 2 appointments with your dentist are usually required for crown fabrication. We will coordinate your first dental implant appointment at the time of your surgical release. Your second dental implant appointment will be made by your dentist since he or she will know when your final crown and abutment will be ready. The first appointment is an impression of your implant and the second is to place the abutment and final crown. We encourage you to talk to your dentist regarding fees for the restorative phase prior to beginning surgery.

Standard Tooth Extraction & Implant Placement

Surgical Phase

Extraction of Tooth and Implant Placement
The dental implant is placed under the gums and the surgical appointment is about 1 ½ hours in duration. The actual implant placement is much shorter in duration. The implant can be placed with local anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and IV Sedation.

Temporary Tooth Placement

Same Day to 3 days after surgery
After surgery, a temporary tooth will be fabricated and cemented on the implant if your dental anatomy allows this. This may be done the same day. However, a laboratory may be chosen to fabricate a custom temporary tooth for your mouth. The laboratory will need a few days to do this. If you need a tooth in the area right away while the laboratory temporary is being made, a retainer can be fabricated before the surgery so that you will not have an open space immediately after surgery. Your specialist (Drs. Vigliante or Bowler) will evaluate your healed implant at the 4 months surgical release visit and releases the tooth for chewing.

Post Surgical Period

You can expect the surgical area to be sore for about 1 week; however, most people return to work and most activities the following day. We recommend refraining from strenuous physical activity and swimming for 1 week. At surgery, you will receive detailed post operative care instructions in writing. During your healing period of 4 months, it is imperative that you not use the implant tooth to chew. Chewing on the tooth may result in implant failure. For this reason, the temporary tooth will be slightly shorter that the rest of your teeth.

Post Surgical Appointments

1 week, 6 weeks, 12 weeks later
Your specialist will examine your healing, discuss your progress, answer any questions, and schedule your surgical release examination.

Surgical Release

4 months after Surgery
Your Specialist will check the implant for healing and prepare it for the final restoration. We will notify your dentist of your surgical release, and arrange for your appointment.

Restorative Phase

Final Crown Fabrication
Depending on your case, 2 appointments with your dentist are usually required for crown fabrication. We will coordinate your first dental implant appointment at the time of your surgical release. Your second dental implant appointment will be made by your dentist since he or she will know when your final crown and abutment will be ready. The first appointment is an impression of your implant and the second is to place the abutment and final crown. We encourage you to talk to your dentist regarding fees for the restorative phase prior to beginning surgery.