dental implants consultation

The Dental Implant Process in 7 Steps


During the first consultation, many patients ask how many steps are in the dental implant process. The truth is that the dental implant process can vary drastically from practice-to-practice from the patient’s perspective. This is because every dental office that offers implants will have varying degrees of technology, skill, and facilities for each step in the treatment timeline.

This post will outline the Steps in the Dental Implant Process, and what each step will mean for you in terms of time, energy, and cost. We’ll also talk about the services and capabilities you should look for in selecting a dental implant dentist.

Some Steps Can Be Combined To Save Time

As you read this post, you will notice that each step will show a number of visits (Visit #1, #2, etc.). You’ll also notice that the visit number can vary, as can the location of each step.

This is because most dental offices and oral surgery practices do not perform every step of the dental implant process. Usually, they will outsource at least one step, if not more. This will increase the number of total visits and treatment locations in your dental implant treatment.

The Dental Implant Place has offered every step of the dental implant treatment timeline in one location since 2007. In fact, we were one of the first offices in the United States to do so. We do this to save you time, inconvenience, and value.

As you will soon see, this feature provides tremendous value to our patients, saving them multiple visits, bills, and weeks of waiting between certain steps. Without it, the implant process can involve as many as 4 offices and 9 steps. This will multiply your bills and waiting time.

The Dental Implant Process in 7 Steps

Most dental implants treatments require 9 basic steps. However, this post will show you the difference that a dental office’s capabilities can have on your experience in terms of time, money, and convenience. Because not all offices can provide every step, the dental implant process usually requires multiple offices. In fact, as many as 4 offices can be involved in one implant treatment plan. 

To demonstrate the difference this can make on your cost and convenience, we will specify these potential different offices by a letter designation (Office A, Office B, etc.). Please keep in mind that each new location will mean a new bill for you.

Step 1 – Consultation & CT Scan

Consultation

The first step in the dental implant process is always a consultation with a dentist or oral surgeon. During a consultation, a dental professional (or a team) will ask you a series of questions to understand your situation and assess your needs. They will usually also take a look inside your mouth to inspect the state of your oral health. This will help them determine if you do in fact need dental implants. It will also help them get a sense of what could be involved in your treatment.

At the end of the consultation, the dentist or oral surgeon will usually give you a recommendation of treatment and an estimate for the cost of dental implants. Then, if they can’t perform any of the subsequent steps themselves, they will refer you to another office that can.

Typical Location: Office A

Visit #1

CT Scan or X-Ray

Next you will need an X-ray or CT scan so that your jaw can be mapped for surgery. CT Scans pinpoint the implantation sites, a.k.a. the specific points on your gums where the implants will be inserted. Scans are also important for identifying any additional procedures that need to be included in your treatment (bone grafts, tooth extractions, etc.) 

The dentist should be able to tell from the scans which types of dental implants would be best for your treatment. Please note that the dentist or oral surgeon placing your implants will ideally be able to place multiple sizes of implants (conventional, mini dental implants, etc.). 

If the professional only places one type or size of implant, you may want to get a second opinion from another dentist who is proficient with other types. If a smaller implant can be used safely, your procedure can be less invasive. Less invasive surgery reduces your surgical trauma because it means you have less cutting and penetration to heal from. It can also be less expensive, since small diameter implants are typically less costly than larger implants.

Please be aware that CT scans provide more information than X-rays. While X-rays only offer an inside look of your mouth from one angle, CT scans offer a 360 degree view of your oral structure. This makes CT scans far superior to X-rays in the information they provide your dentist, allowing them to place your implants with greater precision and provide a more accurate quote.

In other words, CT scans eliminate guesswork. With them, dentists don’t have to guess what your jaw looks like from other angles.

Our office offers CT Scans over X-rays for this reason. Their more in-depth perspective allows us to better plan your treatment for your safety and implant success. 

Typical Location: Office A or B

Visit #1 or #2

Step 2 – Impressions and Measurements

Most dental implant procedures require impressions to further finalize surgical planning. Surgical guides can be made from these impressions. In addition, these impressions will be used by a dental lab to create a temporary set of teeth for you to wear over your dental implant as your mouth adjusts to them post-surgery.

Many dentists and oral surgeons will not take your measurements. In the case that they don’t, they will likely refer you to a prosthodontist. Again, at our implant office in Fort Worth, we handle this step.

Typical Location: Office A or C

Visit #2 or #3

Step 3 – Dental Implants and/or Extractions

Here you will finally have your surgery. 

If you need tooth extractions and dental implants, this step could also include this. Whether it does or not will depend on two factors. 

First, you may or may not qualify for same day extractions and implants. This will depend on your oral health. For instance, a patient may have too much infection, or their jaw bone may be too thin. These issues should be revealed in a CT Scan. 

Second, the dental professional may not offer this service. In fact, many do not. Providing same day dental implants and extractions requires specific training and skill that not all dental professionals have.

If the dental professional doesn’t perform same day extractions and implants, this will add at least 2 additional steps to your dental implant process. An additional post-op appointment after your extractions, and an additional surgery to place your implants. This 2nd surgery will usually take place 4-8 weeks after you have healed. 

Typical Location: Office A

Visit #3 or #4

Step 4 – Delivery of Temporary Teeth

When your implants are first placed, your bone and gums will need time to heal and adjust to the titanium posts. In this process, the shape of your mouth will change. This change can be very slight, but in any case, it will make any new teeth placed over your implants (crowns, bridges, snap in dentures, etc.) no longer fit after your mouth has fully healed. This is why same day dental implants and delivery should involve a temporary set of teeth. These temporary teeth will allow you to smile (and in some cases chew solid food) while you heal and wait for your final set. 

This step in the dental implant process may not occur if your dentist doesn’t have an in-house dental lab. If they don’t, then it’s still possible to receive temporary teeth from the same prosthodontist who performed impressions and measurements. However, there will still be a waiting period between when you receive your implants and when your temporary teeth are delivered. This waiting period can be as little as 1-2 days or as many as 2 weeks.

In our dental implant office, we provide same day temporary teeth in the majority of cases at no additional cost. With our in-house lab, we can design a beautiful temporary set of teeth that will be ready for you to wear the day you get your dental implants. 

Typical Location: Office A or C

Visit #3, #4, or #5

Step 5 – Post-Op Check

After any surgery in the dental implant process, the performing doctor will want to do a post-op check. A post-op will take place within a few days of the surgery. In the case of an extraction, they will want to see you the next day. 

Either way, this step is to check for complications and ensure your healing is proceeding as it should be. You may also receive additional instructions for your self-care. 

Typical Location: Office A 

Visit #4, #5, or #6

WAITING PERIOD – Healing and Final Teeth Design

There will be a waiting period while your mouth heals and adjusts to your new implants, usually 4-12 weeks. The time period will depend on a few factors. First, your oral health at the time of surgery. Second, the number of implants placed. Third, whether or not the dentist used minimally invasive treatment. 

The more invasive the procedure, the more surgical trauma there will be. Where there is an increase in surgical trauma, the longer it will generally take to heal.

Meanwhile, a dental lab will work on constructing your final set of teeth. If neither the dentist nor prosthodontist has their own on-house dental lab, then this step will often be outsourced overseas. While this can lead to acceptable results, it will likely increase your wait time. It will also increase the chance for error in your new teeth’s design, hinder customization, and make it more difficult to fix the new teeth if there are any problems with them. 

In a few cases, the dental office will allow you to provide input on your final set of teeth as they are being designed. Our office is one of the few in the nation that offers this to our patients. 

In addition, we allow our patients to wear their new full arch prosthetic for a trial period. During this time, they can provide feedback on the feel and appearance of their new teeth. We call this exceptionally rare service “Test Driving.” Almost no offices in the United States offer this incredible option to their patients. We do this because we want our patients to get the most satisfying and natural new teeth possible.

Typical Location: Office A, C, or D

Step 6 – Delivery of Final Prosthetic

At last, at this step you will receive your final set of teeth!

This step will have better chances of success if the performing dentist has an in-house lab. Thanks to our Test Driving option, our patients are consistently ecstatic about the look and feel of their new teeth.

Typical Location: Office A or C

Visit #5, #6, or #7

Step 7 – Post Delivery Adjustments

After your final teeth are delivered, adjustments may be necessary to ensure a comfortable fit. There may even be minor aesthetic issues that need to be addressed. For instance, you may want to adjust the shade or shape of the teeth slightly. 

Some offices do not factor any adjustments in their service cost, so be sure to ask about this as early in the dental implant process as possible. Otherwise, extra fees may be added to your overall cost.

At The Dental Implant Place, out price is all inclusive and always factors adjustments to your final in your bill. In fact, we allow you to try on your final and provide feedback on its feel and appearance! We do this because we want you to be thrilled with your final result and experience a dramatic increase in your quality of life. 

Typical Location: Office A or C

Visit #6, #7, or #8

Conclusion

There are at least 7 steps in the dental implant process:

  1. Consultation and CT Scan (Combined w. All in One Place)
  2. Impressions
  3. Dental Implants and Extractions (Combined w. All in One Place and Qualifying Health)
  4. Delivery of Temporary Teeth, a.k.a Same Day Dental Implants (Combined w. Step 3 in All in One Place)
  5. Post-Op + Waiting Period
  6. Delivery of Final
  7. Post-Delivery Adjustments (May not be offered by some practices)

These steps can take place in as few as 6 visits. More visits may be required in some cases. Note that there will be more steps, visits, and bills without All in One Office care.

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Therefore, having all of your treatment in one place can save you hassle, expenses, and several weeks of waiting.

The Dental Implant Place was one of the first implant offices in the USA to offer All in One Place care. We handle every step from start-to-finish because we want to spare you from extra cost, energy, and unnecessary waiting time. 

We want to deliver a quality of your finished product. By handling every step in-house, we can make sure that nothing is lost in translation between offices. Not only does this increases the predictability and safety of your surgery, but it also helps a timely delivery of your temporary and final teeth. 

Furthermore, we can use our own state-of-the-art technology to design the most beautiful and realistic sets of teeth possible. Our Digital CAD design and 3D Zirconia milling produce beautiful bridges that look, feel, and function like healthy natural teeth.

When every step of your dental implant process is handled in one location, it can save you from as many as four additional bills! 

Not only that, but it can cut 8-12 weeks off of your timeline between steps!

Are you interested in getting an experienced and qualified opinion on the dental implant timeline? If so, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Brown and our staff at the Dental Implant Place. 

Our office has focused exclusively on dental implants since 2007, and our team has over 80 years of combined experience in implant dentistry.

Click the button below to take the next step towards a massively increased quality of life!

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The Dental Implant Place is an advanced dental office in Fort Worth, TX that focuses exclusively on dental implants. Every step is handled by a team with a combined 80 years in implant dentistry.

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The Dental Implant Place

500 8th Ave #110

Fort Worth, TX 76104

(817) 560-0414