Overview of Dental Implant Placement

Single Tooth Implant Procedure in Lancaster PA

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 varies from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

 View our Dental Implants Before and After Photos

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.

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
A representation of a healed upper jaw bone after losing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
A digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
6. Implant Restored

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

Now the healing begins. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.

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When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process—you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one-third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many implants do I need?

Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.

Weierbach & Genetti Prosthodontics

5 out of 5 stars based on 61 Dental Implants reviews.

Patient Review

I accompanied my father to his visits throughout the course of his dental implant journey. Dr. Weierbach took great care to explain all of our available options and how each process would work. Ultimately, we chose fixed implants and are incredibly happy with that decision. The staff was amazing and really took the time to make us feel comfortable and informed along the way. From check-in to check-out, the team at Weierbach & Genetti made it a personal experience and my father never felt like “just another patient.” Most importantly, the implants turned out great! I highly recommend Dr. Weierbach and team for dental implant needs.

- Amanda C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

I have spent hours in the dental chair for some appointments related to the procedures I am having done. The staff care about your comfort and Dr Weirbach personally calls to follow up. They do not settle for mediocre.

- Gail G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

everyone was accommodating and worked well together as a team to provide a peaceful and careful environment for the procedures.

- Brent S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

When it was the time for me to choose a dentist to have implants, there was never a doubt who I would choose! Trust is the word to describe Dr. Weierbach and his Staff. I traveled from Florida to Lancaster just so I could have Dr. Weierbach as my prosthodontist. Special Thanks to Chelsee, Amanda, Melissa, Sherry, Susan, Jennifer, and Gretchen.

- Jerry E

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

Once upon a time, 25 YEARS AGO... what I dreaded and thought was going to be a nightmare upon the realization I was a candidate for dental implants and crowns, to my complete astonishment turned out to be a most excellent and rewarding experience. From start to finish, Dr. Weierbach treated me with dignity and respect and gave careful thought to the high level of fear and anxiety he knew was within me. Upon my most recent visit this week, I received loud applause for the EXCELLENT, healthy overall condition of my dental work! In all these years I have had NO problems whatsoever. I could not be more pleased and satisfied with Dr. Weierbach and his amazing skill, that has and continues to make a difference in my life! Thank you Dr. Weierbach and kudos to your entire efficient, very capable and friendly staff!

- Julie D

5 out of 5 stars on