There are a few basic steps to the implant process starting with a consultation to determine whether implants are the best course of action. The patient is given a thorough exam which often includes x-rays and making molds and models of their teeth and mouth. If, after a thorough discussion of their needs and options, a patient decides to undergo this outpatient procedure, they are given local or general anesthesia and prepped for surgery. The surgeon extracts the damaged teeth and makes an incision into the gum. He then drills into the bone, connects an abutment to it and inserts the artificial teeth. The patient may experience some bleeding, swelling and other uncomfortable after-effects during recovery and is advised to eat soft foods for a couple of weeks. Once the surgical area has healed, the patient returns for a follow-up visit at which time the surgeon replaces the temporary teeth with permanent ones, checks to see that they are stable and makes sure that the patient leaves with a beautiful smile.