Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two stages. For a tooth that is already missing and no bone grafting is needed the first stage consists of placing the implant (titanium post beneath the gum). After the implant is placed, it takes about 3-6 months for the implant to completely integrate into the bone and heal properly. It may seem like a long time to wait for something you can’t see to heal, but this osseointegration helps improve any chances of implant failure. Depending on the the tooth position, for example a front tooth, you may work with your general dentist to get a flipper made for you to wear during this time. You are also able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this healing period.  


The second stage occurs once the implant integrates with the bone. Our doctors uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts will protrude through the gums, so you will be able to see them until the artificial tooth is placed.

The entire procedure (including getting the crown) takes 4-6 months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life. 

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, our doctors 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 implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. 

The newest technology our office prides itself on is surgically guided implants. In this case, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them off to our lab. Our lab technician and doctor will sit and plan your case completely digitally. Dr. Coviello and Dr. Starley are doing more and more of these as it guarantees accuracy in placement and increases the efficiency of the procedure. 

Another technology advancement that our office is implementing is the placement of an immediate temporary. When extracting a tooth and placing an implant, we are able to work with our lab to create an abutment that replicates your tooth. This abutment can be placed on the top of the implant at the time of placement so that you don’t have the hassle of having a gap in your teeth!

Who Actually Performs the Implant Placement?

Implants are a team effort between our surgeons and your dentist. Our doctors perform the actual implant placement as well as any initial tooth extraction/bone grafting necessary). Once our part is complete, we will release you to your dentist, to fit and make the permanent crown/prosthesis. Your dentist is also able to make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process. 

What Types of Prostheses are Available?

A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth. Each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant.

A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants.

A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended:

A removable prosthesis (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.

Our doctors are able to perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. In-patient hospital implant surgery is also available for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.

Why Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.

They help to preserve facial structure and prevent bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

They are your opportunity to have the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth. 

A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than thirty-five years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss. His original plan was for implants to be placed by oral & maxillofacial surgeons only.

Are You a Candidate for Implants?

Call us to set up a consultation to see if you are a candidate for implants! Dr. Coviello and Dr. Starley are more than willing to examine your bone and determine whether or not you are a candidate. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a bone grafting procedure before the placement, if you are not an ideal candidate.

Do Implants Need Special Care?

Once the implants are placed, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. Good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists are the only special care implants require.

CLICK for POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS