Dental Implants: Empower Your Smile

If you have a missing tooth your dentist may suggest a dental implant. Getting a dental implant requires multiple appointments and anywhere from 6 to 9 months from your first appointment to fully recovering from surgery.

Everything to know about getting a dental implant

If you have a missing tooth your dentist may suggest a dental implant. Getting a dental implant requires multiple appointments and anywhere from 6 to 9 months from your first appointment to fully recovering from surgery.

Understanding what’s involved with the surgery can help you decide whether this is the best solution for you. Here’s what you need to know about the dental implant process:

Why get a dental implant?

Missing teeth can be more than just an aesthetic problem. Having a gap in your smile can throw your bite out of alignment, alter your face shape and even affect the way you speak. 

Even if you’re not concerned about a missing tooth, a dental implant will help support your neighbouring teeth and prevent alignment issues from forming.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made from titanium. The implant is surgically placed into the jawbone and, after the jaw has healed, a crown is attached on top. While you won’t see the dental implant below the gumline, the dental crown looks just like a natural tooth. 

There are two common types of dental implants – endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants.

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are the most common and are inserted into the jaw bone. These implants resemble small screws and are made of titanium, a metal that is safe for medical use. An endosteal implant is inserted deep into the jawbone, just like a natural tooth root. An implant is used to anchor one or more teeth on top.


Not everyone is a good candidate for a dental implant. Subperiosteal implants are used when there isn’t enough healthy bone to drill an implant into. These implants are placed beneath the gum but above or on the jawbone.

How long does the dental implant process take?

Getting a dental implant takes longer than other common dental procedures. 

First Appointment – Evaluation

The first step in getting a dental implant is determining whether you are a good candidate for an implant. At an initial evaluation your doctor will check your gums for any signs of periodontal disease. They will also take x-rays to assess the strength of your jawbone. 

If your jawbone is too thin, your dentist may suggest a bone graft before beginning the bone graft process.

Second Appointment – Implant Surgery

If you’re a good candidate for implant surgery your dentist will book you in for surgery. A single dental implant can take around 1.5 to 2 hours to fit. At Gentle Dental we use computer guided implant surgery for more accurate, long-lasting results and less downtime. Using 3D software and printers, we can virtually plan your surgery and reduce the risk of human error and complications.

Abutments connect the dental implant with the dental crown. In a lot of cases, a healing abutment is temporarily attached to the implant during surgery. This is replaced with a final abutment once the gums have fully healed. Occasionally an abutment isn't placed at all until after the gums have healed. In this case the dentist may make a small incision in the gums.

Recovery — 6-8 months

It can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months to fully recover from dental implant surgery. Recovery times can take longer if you’ve had multiple teeth extracted or a bone graft. Initial healing can take anywhere from one week to ten days. While your mouth may look or feel better after a few weeks, the following months are just as important. During this time, the implant will integrate with your jawbone, just like a real tooth root. Once this happens, your implant your implant is strong enough to support a crown.

Third Appointment – Crown Fitting

Once your gums have healed it’s time for your dentist to fit your crown. Usually, a dental crown is made and fitted over two appointments. At Gentle Dental, we’ve been using CEREC, CAD/CAM technology to create our dental crowns in-house. This means we can create and fit your crown in just one visit. During this appointment your dentist will take a digital scan of your mouth and create a 3-D model of your crown using CAD.

What is the success rate of dental implant surgery?

If you are a candidate for dental implants, there’s a very high chance your surgery will be successful. For people with good oral health, implant surgery is successful 90-95% of the time.

When considering the cost of a dental implant, make sure you factor in the longevity of your implant. Dental implants are built to last for decades. While dental implants may seem expensive when compared to other procedures, they also last a lot longer. 

Dental implants can last longer than dental bridges and are a more permanent alternative to partial dentures.