There are actually two phases to implant dentistry.
Phase 1: Using very accurate surgical techniques, an incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into dimensionally controlled sites (depth and width) in the jawbone. First, the gum tissue is opened and the jaw bone is tapped with a small drill and then drilled with a wider drill. The implant is inserted into place. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong foundation to support a tooth.
Phase 2: An abutment is secured o the top of the implant. Finally, the restorative dentist will place a new crown onto the implant abutment. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or secure your dentures.