Mayo Clinic offers different kinds of implant procedures, depending on the health of your jawbone, how many teeth you are replacing and your preferences.
Bone grafting for dental implantation surgery
You need sufficient jawbone quality and quantity to support a titanium root. If you lack either, a bone grafting procedure is required before implant surgery. After the bone graft has healed, usually within three to six months, your doctor can continue with the implant procedure. There are two types of grafting procedures:
- Grafting with real bone. Your doctor will graft a piece of bone to your jaw from another site in the upper or lower jawbone, but sometimes from the hip area if more bone is needed.
- Grafting with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). BMP is a hormone that can promote bone growth. Your doctor will place a synthetic collagen sponge moistened with BMP protein into the targeted area. The sponge will grow into bone over a period of weeks.
- Preparing the jawbone. In the traditional method, your doctor will first remove your damaged teeth. It usually takes two to three months for your jawbone to heal from this procedure. The next step is to implant a titanium root into your jawbone. This root may support one or more replacement teeth, depending on its location in your mouth and the load it can bear. The time between removing your damaged teeth and placing implants depends on which teeth are being replaced and how many implants are being considered.
- Placing prosthetic teeth. After implantation of the titanium root and during the healing process from this surgery, you will wear a removable, temporary prosthesis or bridge for three to six months. This must be taken out and cleaned each night. Some people forgo a temporary bridge if the teeth are extracted from a discrete location and speech is not affected. When you are completely healed from the implant surgery, a prosthetic dentist will fabricate your permanent teeth and fit them onto the osseointegrated implants.
- Preparing the jawbone. The immediate (same-day) implantation method is often used when the space left by the damaged, extracted tooth is smaller than the size of a typical dental implant. In this case, the dental implant can engage your own bone at the extraction site and is very stable. Mayo Clinic research has shown that same-day implantation is as successful as delayed implantation.
- Placing prosthetic teeth. When more than one implant is being placed and when the stability of the implants is sufficient on the day of their placement, you may be a candidate to receive a fixed, temporary bridge that will stay in place during the three- to six-month healing process. This form of prosthesis is preferable for many people because it feels much like their own teeth in shape and size, does not have to be removed at night, and can immediately improve speech. Once healing of the implants and bone have occurred, a prosthetic dentist will fabricate your permanent teeth.