Dental Implants Procedure | Dental Treatment Guide

A dental implant is a device that is used to anchor a bridge, denture or crown in position. The implant itself is a metal - usually titanium - rod, which is carefully fixed into the jawbone. The rod is acting like a natural tooth root but for a synthetic replacement.

The treatment procedure is often carried out using local anaesthetic unless a bone graft is also required, in these cases it is likely you will be subject to general anaesthetic. The actual procedure involves a small socket being precisely drilled into your jaw in order to accommodate the dental implant. Once the metal rod has been put in place, it is able to gradually fuse with your bone and become an actual part of your mouth. The rod is not completely immersed into the jawbone; instead a small section is left protruding to allow for the attachment of the crown, denture or bridge.

Most dentists perform the implant procedure in roughly the same way, incorporating four prominent stages. These stages may be done in either a single appointment, called immediate loading, or over two visit.


During your initial consultation, you should discuss the dental implant procedure, risks and benefits with the dentist who will be carrying it out. To decide if you are definitely suitable for the treatment, your dentist will ask a number of questions and may even take an x-ray or CT scan. These imaging techniques are done to analyse the state of your teeth and jaws. After this, your dentist will use wax to create an impression of the teeth so that the dental implant can be created to suit your mouth.

From this consultation, your dentist should be able to tell you whether you are suitable for the dental implant. If so, you may also be able to obtain an estimated price for the procedure.

The Procedure

If you are deemed a suitable candidate for a dental implant, you will then need to book in to get the actual procedure. The next decision that must be made is whether you undergo the procedure using sedation, local or general anaesthetic.

If you require a bone graft in addition to the dental implant, then you will most likely need to have a general anaesthetic. If you do have to have general anaesthetic, you cannot eat or drink within the twelve hours running up to your surgery. You may also be asked to stay in the clinic overnight under observation until the effects of the general anaesthetic have completely worn off. However, this should all be explained to you during your consultation.

Alternatively, if you decide that a local anaesthetic is most appropriate for you, then you will not be able to consume any food or drink four hours prior to the procedure. You should also ensure that you have a friend or family member able to drive you home once your dental implant has been completed.

The actual dental implant procedure can be done all at once or over two separate stages. The latter is the most popular method. During the initial procedure, the dental implant will be inserted into the jawbone. The subsequent appointment will then involve the bridge, crown or denture being attached securely onto the dental implant.

There are two different types of dental implant that may be employed – cylinder or screw. Either way, once the implant has been inserted, the incision is carefully stitched closed to prepare it for the approximate three month healing time.


During the integration period, your jaw and gum is allowed a sufficient amount of time to heal. This time is normally advised at being around three months as this is often an adequate allowance for the dental implant and bone to become fused and secure. The medical name for this period of time is "osseo-integration". Normally, during osseo-integration you are supplied with a simple bridge or a temporary denture.

Synthetic Teeth

Sometimes replacement teeth are required and are called restorations. This restoration tooth is generally attached in the second visit to your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will reopen the incision made in the first process to insert the implant. An abutment is then fitted onto the dental implant. This is a small collar, which is needed for the attachment of the false tooth.

The dental implant treatment may be just a small part of a more extensive treatment involving a crown, bridge or even a complete tooth overhaul.


During the healing period, you will need to see your dentist relatively regularly for check ups to ensure that your implant is integrating successfully into your jaw.

It is not uncommon for dental implant patients to experience various side effects during this healing time. These can be rather general such as swelling, pain and/or discomfort in the location where your implant was inserted. Such issues can be relieved somewhat by over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or paracetamol.

There are a small number of supplementary products that your dentist may give you to aid the healing process. One of these is that the dentist may install a partial denture or a temporary bridge, which will disguise any gaps whilst providing protection for the gum and implant. Also, to help reduce the risk of post-procedure infection, your dentist may supply you with a specialised antiseptic mouthwash.

Sometimes, your bite may not quite be right after your dental implant procedure. In such cases, it is probable that you will need to undergo a smaller, subsequent procedure. This procedure will slightly adjust the teeth to ensure they are properly lined up and comfortable for you.

Further Information about Dental Implants