Dental Health Blog

What to Expect with Dental Implant Services in Calgary

Dental implants are an excellent way to replace lost teeth. The procedure is both durable and natural-looking, which means it can last your entire lifetime if cared for properly! Dental implant surgery in Calgary can be quite an extensive process, however, the results are worth it as it mimics the look and function of natural teeth.

Of course, with any surgery, patients have a lot of questions, concerns, and general inquiries about the process and what to expect. We hope this article provides you with the answers you’re looking for so that you can go into your first dental implant consultation armed with a lot of information.

Dental implant consultation: determining whether you’re a candidate

While dental implant surgery is one of the most successful and effective teeth replacement procedures, not everyone is a candidate to receive implants. Here’s what to expect during your initial consultation:

  • You will meet with the dentist who will ask you a series of questions about your general health, dental hygiene, and provide general information about the process.
  • Your dentist will check the health of your existing teeth, gums, and bone structure. 
  • Depending on your case, you may be referred to one or more specialists, including an oral surgeon, periodontist, prosthodontist (a dentist specializing in teeth replacement), and/or an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

You are a good candidate for dental implants if you have healthy gums and sufficient bone structure. If the jaw bone is too thin, gum disease is present, or you have a condition that impacts your body’s natural ability to heal, you may be denied dental implants. 

It’s important to know that if you don’t have enough bone, you can still be a candidate for dental implants. If this is the case, your dentist will typically recommend bone grafting (a procedure that involves transplanting bone to rebuild damaged ones). 

The pre-surgery process

The pre-op procedure can vary depending on your bone structure if you need to see other specialists or any existing health conditions. Patients with diabetes may need to undergo more testing to be safe.

The pre-op stage of dental implant surgery includes:

  • X-rays, exams, and any additional testing
  • Bone grafting (when necessary)
  • Talking to your dentist about sedation options

Your dentist will make sure you are prepared for surgery by talking through the pre-surgery process, including when and where it’s going to take place, how to prepare for surgery day, and having a friend or family member drive you to and from the dentist office. The days leading up to an oral procedure usually entail taking extra care of your dental health, monitor any signs and symptoms of concern, and getting mentally prepared for the day of surgery.

The dental implant process happens in three phases: placement of the implant, attachment of the abutment, and crown fitting.

The surgery process

On the day of the surgery, you will either be sedated or numbed with local anesthesia depending on what you have discussed with your dentist during the pre-surgery phase. Your dentist will wait until the sedation or anesthetics kick in fully before starting the surgery. 

The surgery involves:

  • Make an incision in your gum to expose the bone.
  • Creating space in the bone for the implant screw.
  • Putting the implant into place.

Once this process is complete, you will be monitored shortly before being discharged. Your dentist will go over aftercare, what to expect during recovery time, and may prescribe you with a strong painkiller. 

Recovery time

The recovery time after a gum surgery varies depending on how many implants are needed. You may experience symptoms like bruising, swelling, and general discomfort. Don’t worry, these are normal and expected. 

Most patients report that mild pain subsides within 3 days and they’re able to get back to normal activity within the week. However, be sure to take your time and get plenty of rest to help with the healing process. While your gums are healing, you may receive a temporary replacement or be given the ok to wear your regular dentures. 

Attaching the abutment

The next phase of the process typically happens 4-6 months after the gum surgery to allow the gums to fully heal. During this time, you’ll meet with your dentist who will assess how your gums are healing and will determine whether or not the implant is ready for the second step. 

When attaching the abutment, you will again be sedated or given local anesthesia. Another incision is made in your gums to expose the implant and fit the abutment. The recovery time for the second phase typically takes about 4-6 weeks of healing.

Fitting the crown

The final step is the crown fitting. These crowns are custom-made to fit your mouth and match any surrounding teeth. Sometimes this process requires a trial fitting before the final fit to ensure that everything is positioned as it should.

Once the crowns are in place, you’ll be amazed at how natural-looking, functional, and comfortable your new smile is. This is one of our favourite moments at Stoney Trail Dental - after enduring a lengthy process, seeing our patients smile with a beautiful set of teeth that they can be proud to show off with confidence is why we love what we do!

After completion, you can expect to see your dentist for follow-up appointments to make sure everything is healing well, monitor the health of your gums, and address any concerns you may have. Although dental implant surgery can be quite a significant process, the results are truly worth it. What you’re left with is a completely transformed smile and a strong set of teeth for life.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on January 17, 2022

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