First, implants, which look like screws or cylinders, are placed into your jaw. Then, over the next two to four months, the implants and the bone are allowed to bond together to form anchors for your artificial teeth. During this time, a temporary replacement is worn over the site of the implant.

Often, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implants and attach extensions. These small metal posts, called abutments, along with various connecting devices that allow multiple crowns to attach to the implants, complete the foundation on which your new teeth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure. 
There are some implant systems (single-stage) that do not require this second step. These systems use an implant that already has the extension piece attached. Your periodontist will advise you as to which system is best for you.

Finally, single crowns or full bridges will be created for you and attached to your implants. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.

In certain cases, implant placement is not possible at first, because there is not enough sufficient bone to hold the implants (accidents, advanced periodontal disease).