Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for the bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.



The placement of dental implants more often than not, involves two surgical procedures.  First, implants are placed within your jaw bone.  For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone.  Dr. Boghossian will work with your dentist to make sure that you have temporary teeth if needed.  At the same time, your general dentist is working closely with a lab and fabricating  permanent replacement teeth. 

After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins.  Dr. Boghossian will uncover the implants (three to four months after implant placement).  We call this procedure Stage 2.  Your implant (s) will be exposed (uncovered) and healing caps placed over them for your dentist to see.  These will act as anchors for the artificial teeth.  The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months.  Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.


Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology and under certain conditions, Dr. Boghossian is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to expose them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction –this can only be done under ideal conditions.  

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist.  Dr. Boghossian performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.