What to Expect from Dental Implant Surgery

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If you need to have dental implant surgery performed, you may be surprised to learn how easy the process actually is. Often times, individuals will allow their imaginations to get the best of them and they think of a long, drawn-out process that involves a lot of surgery, blood, and pain. Many patients who have undergone dental implant surgery will tell you that there is little discomfort after the procedure.

Dental implants are designed to be a replacement for the root part of your tooth. These artificial roots are placed directly into your jawbone. Crowns that appear to be natural, will be placed on top of the root and this can be done immediately or a few weeks after the procedure.

Dental implant systems can be made from a variety of materials, but more are constructed from titanium alloys or pure titanium. The reason behind the titanium is because the metal has a type of unique ability to fuse with the bone directly in a process called osseo-integration. It is vital that the implant is made from a material that will maximize the way it attaches to the bone and surface area. There are two main ways that this can be achieved, which includes by giving the screw a spiral shape with multiple threads on it and by altering or roughening the surface. Both of these means allow for the implant to be precise, stable, and fitted.

Often times, when people find out that the implant is similar to a screw, they worry and automatically think that the process is going to be painful, but that is not the case. In fact, take a look at the step by step guide to pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery.


When you think of implant placement surgery, you may think that the procedure is quite in depth, but it is actually a minor procedure, especially if all of the proper pre-planning has been completed. To prepare properly for implant placement surgery, you will often have x-rays performed, a CT scan, and a surgical guide will be utilized. This allows for the proper determination of your bite and where the new teeth should be placed. If you have any type of anxiety about the procedure, talk to Dr. Cho ahead of time. While almost all implants are placed in your mouth using a local anesthetic, any type of apprehension is able to be relieved with a sedative or even a pre-medication that is given beforehand. Speaking to Dr. Cho will allow you to voice your concerns and he can provide you with options available to you in La Habra, CA.

During Surgery

Site preparation is one of the most important steps that must be taken in the process. You will undergo what is known as an osteotomy, which is where a hole is drilled into the bone. The bone is accessed through a small incision that is made on the gums. Once the gums have been cut, they create flaps to allow Dr. Cho to view the bone, its shape, and the location of it.

If Dr. Cho made a surgical guide, it will be placed into your mouth and the osteotomy sites will be prepared through it to ensure that the implants are positioned correctly. From there, a sequence of drilling will occur, and this drilling will increase the size of the site until it mirrors the exact shape on the guide to ensure a precision fit. It is possible for implants to be placed without the incision or flaps being created, but this requires accurate surgical guides and a strong jawbone.

The entire drilling process is vital to the success of the implants to ensure that the implants themselves will fuse to the bone. Living bone tissues need to be handled with the utmost care using both water and gentle pressure to ensure they are not damaged by overheating. If overheating or too much pressure occurs, bone loss may be experienced. You may experience some mild vibrations during the drilling part of the procedure and the feeling is considered to be tolerable.

The next step in the surgical process is to place each one of the implants directly into the sites that have been drilled, so that healing can begin. Dental implants are sterile, and it is vital that the surface of them is never touched. The implants will go directly from their sterile packaging into the drilled holes in the jawbone. X-rays are taken either during or after the procedure to ensure that all of the implants are in their correct place.

Once the surgical process is complete, the gum flaps will be closed and sutured together. Typically, the sutures are self-absorbing, which makes them convenient because they do not need to be removed.


Due to the sensitive nature of the tissues, it is possible that you will experience some mild discomfort throughout the healing process. However, each situation is different and if you have any concerns, you should speak with your La Habra, CA dentist, Dr. Cho.

Typically, over the counter ibuprofens and aspirins are recommended to help alleviate any swelling or discomfort that may occur for the first two to three days after the procedure. If you are experiencing any type of pain, you may be prescribed an opioid type of medication such as hydrocodone or codeine to help alleviate your discomfort. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to ensure that the gum tissues heal properly, and that infection does not occur. All post-operative patients will be provided with a list of nutritional recommendations by Dr. Cho.

The post-surgical phase is successful in most cases and patients find that the process is much easier than they thought from start to finish. If you would like to learn more about the dental implant surgical process, contact Dr. Cho today at Dr. Kenneth Cho Dentistry in La Habra.Dr. Cho is committed to providing you with the best dental services possible and educating you on the entire process.