What Should I Expect When I Go to Get Dental Implants?

Dental Implants

When you make the decision to get dental implants, you want to know what to expect each step of the way.  Well, the truth is, a one-size fits all approach does not exist.  Each person’s situation is unique, and the options for care vary based on the experience of the dental team.  However, these six general steps apply to everyone.

Consultation > Restorative Dentist > Scheduling > Surgery > Post Surgery > Tooth/Teeth Restoration


Dental Implant Consultation

The initial consultation starts with a clinical exam and a cone beam CT scan that will provide the surgeon with a clear picture of your current situation. The oral surgeon will be able to view your bone density, identify any additional teeth that may need removal, and take appropriate measurements for implants.

Your wishes for your smile, the type of implant, and the extent of work necessary will determine the actual cost of the implants.  Your consultation will provide you with several options along with information so you can make your decision. 

As part of understanding the cost of the implants, you need to realize that dental implants are put in by the oral surgeon, and a restorative dentist attaches the teeth to the implant.

Once you select a solution, the office will assist you with your insurance or financing needs.

Restorative Dentist

After making your decision on your plan of care, you visit the restorative dentist who collaborates with the oral surgeon on your case. 

The restorative dentist works with the lab to create the tooth or teeth that he or she attaches to the implant


Once you, your restorative dentist, and the surgeon have all agreed upon the treatment plan you have chosen, with the help of the surgical office, you will choose a date for to begin your treatment.

The office will provide you with detailed pre-op instructions and post-op instructions, so you know in advance what to do and expect both before and after the dental implant surgery.


Dental Implants What to Expect Surgery Photo

The day before your dental implant surgery, take a few minutes to review the pre-op and post-op instructions provided by the surgeon’s office to remind yourself of what you should do and what you should expect to happen.

Before surgery, follow the pre-op instructions.  After surgery, follow the post-op instructions. Do not: take any medications, eat or drink anything before your surgery if you are having it done under the comfort of intravenous sedation. Someone should be with you so that they can also receive instructions and drive you safely home.

Post Surgery

If you scheduled a visit to your restorative dentist for your temporary teeth, go to the appointment at the completion of your surgery. Temporary teeth are more for looks than they are for function.. You will need to make sure you only eat soft food until you get your final teeth from your restorative dentist.

Follow the post-op instructions provided by your oral surgeon, and expect to return to the office in a week for a review of your progress.

Typically, you can return to your normal activities the day after surgery.

Final Teeth

In most cases, it takes about three to four months for the implant to osseointegrate to the bone. At this time, your final tooth or teeth are ready to be attached to the implant by the restorative dentist.

You can expect to have periodic check-ups by the oral surgeon who will confirm it is ready for the final teeth.  After you receive the final teeth, the restorative dentist will want you to come back in for a follow-up visit.  Finally, you should continue with annual check-ups.