You are gonna be so sorry you asked. (I am not a dentist, this is just my first hand experience.) Basically they put a screw into your head or lower jaw.
IIRC, first they numb you up real good, to the point where you hear something like the skin of an apple being poked and then realize it is your gum being pierced by the novocaine. Then they take a scalpel, and make an incision all the way to the bone across the tooth line and then up the roof of your mouth. Then some sort of tool is taken and the excess skin roughed off the bone. Did I mention you are awake for all of this? A hole is made with the drill into the bone and the implant is placed in the bone. I can’t remember if it was screwed in or not, but at the end there was something that looked like a chisel touching the implant and a hammer in his hands. A couple of taps on the hammer, and then you get stitched up. My nasal cavity felt oddly afterwards, but maybe it was all the novocaine. At my next day checkup, he said I did really good, because there was no facial bruising. (I could have been facially bruised???!!)
You now wait a certain amount of time, (I waited 8 months), to heal and make sure you don’t reject the implant. Which luckily I didn’t. Then you go back to get a healing cap put on, and I foolishly thought this involved no further surgery. What a :wally . So now you’re back in the chair and hearing apple skin being poked again. And the scalpel… sigh. They open everything up again and put in a healing cap. By now you’re amazed at what people will willingly allow themselves to happen to them without being tied down, and pay $2,000 for it. :smack: I was shaking and crying but scared to move because the Dr. needs you to stay still.
The healing cap pokes out of your gum, and after you’ve healed, allows a canal up to the nut that’s in your skull (heh), which the crown (another $600) will be screwed onto. Then after three months you go back to your regular dentist, get impressions made, and the lab makes your crown in about three weeks. When the crown is put in, the canal could collapse slightly and your skin will get pinched as the crown is placed.
It feels like a real tooth, and works like a real tooth. The gums however, don’t quite grow back all the way. I would say depending on your age, hold off on getting one right away, since your teeth migrate over the years. There are other options to exhaust first: A flipper, which comes out like a denture, but hugs your molars with two metal pieces, or a Maryland Bridge, which is glued to the back of the two adjacent teeth. I hated my flipper for 5 years, my bridge needed to be reglued 5 times in two years, and so I got fed up. In retrospect, I would have asked to be put to sleep for the two surgeries, but I’m glad I have the implant, because I forget that I have one. I’m no longer feel like an old lady that has to take her tooth out at night or look for it when someone comes to the door. Sorry so long, I hope this helps you to make your decision.