Patients’ perceptions of implant placement surgery, the post-surgical healing and the transitional implant prostheses: a qualitative study

Wafa A. Kashbour, Nikki Rousseau, J. Mark Thomason, Janice S. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to explore patients’ thoughts, feelings about, and experiences of, implant placement surgery (IPS), the post-surgical healing stage and the immediate post-surgical transitional implant prosthesis (TIP) (fixed and removable). Methods: A qualitative study design was chosen and 38 semi-structured telephone and face-to-face interviews were conducted with 34 patients at different stages of implant treatment. The interviews were transcribed verbatim; the data collection and coding process followed the principles of thematic analysis, which was facilitated through the use of NVivo10. Results: Patients anticipated that surgery would be painful and unpleasant but were prepared to accept this temporary discomfort for the expected benefits of implant treatment. However, a key finding was that patients felt they had overestimated the trauma of surgery but underestimated the discomfort and difficulties of the healing phase. A number of difficulties were also identified with the TIP phase following implant surgery. Conclusion: Existing research has tended to focus on the longer term benefits of dental implant treatment. This qualitative study has investigated in-depth patients’ perceptions of dental implant surgery, including their experiences related to sedation, and of transitional implant restoration. While patients felt their concerns were overestimated in relation to the implant surgery, they experienced greater morbidity than they expected in the healing phase. Recommendations are made for relatively small changes in care provision which might improve the overall patient experience. Partial dentate patients treated with a fixed transitional prosthesis experienced advantages more quickly than patients with an overdenture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalClinical oral implants research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • conscious sedation
  • fixed transitional prosthesis
  • implant healing
  • implant surgery
  • overdenture
  • transitional implant-supported/retained prosthesis


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