When a tooth has been missing for a period of time, yet sufficient bone is present to place the implant, this is a surgically optimal case.
Prior to the placement, you will meet with the doctor for a consultation. On the day of placement, a small incision (unless you opt for flapless surgery) is made to reveal the underlying bone. The bone then is shaped to accept the implant. Finally, sutures are placed, closing the tissue. The whole process, including pre-op preparation and post-op instructions, takes about an hour. The amount of healing time required before placement of the crown depends on a variety of factors but most commonly is 1 to 3 months. After healing, you receive an abutment and crown.
A Single Implant to Replace a Tooth Being Lost
Often a tooth is removed because it is infected or so badly broken that it is not able to be saved. When it is extracted, the implant can be placed directly into the socket that same day. This is referred to as immediate placement.
An immediate placement is the best choice for implant placement because it preserves the maximum amount of bone. It also eliminates the need to wait for healing which might otherwise necessitate going without a tooth for six months or more. In the case when a front tooth is not present, most patients opt for some sort or temporization. But, if it is a lower tooth, particularly a lower back tooth, many patients prefer not to fill in the space while they wait.