The three-step process is meant to support the success of the procedure. The first step consists of burying the dental implant within the gum, where the original tooth root used to be. This placement protects the dental implant while it heals and integrates with the jaw bone. Once it is healed and ready, the dental implant will be re-exposed for the second step; insertion of the abutment, or metal post. The gum will heal around the abutment, and the oral surgeon will have access to the dental implant when preparing the crown for placement. Stage three is the final restorative stage, and the prosthetic tooth (or teeth) will be placed.
Recent research has shown that it is possible to insert the abutment (stage two) at the same time as the dental implant (stage one). This may not be appropriate for everyone, but it does reduce the number of procedures and recovery time for the patient. One crucial part of the process is to allow the dental implant to osseointegrate, and that natural bonding to the jaw bone will require adequate healing time. The abutments also need to be protected from damage (like when you chew) and heal before the final step takes place.
While this three-step process may seem lengthy, it is proven to deliver the best results, and it is our priority to offer our patients the best care.