Under local anesthesia, the first step for many implant procedures is the exposure of the bone where the implant is to be made. This is followed by placement of the implant into the exposed jawbone. Implants that are placed in the bone are called endosteal implants and are made of titanium or a titanium alloy because this metal does not adversely interact with biological tissue. After placement of the implant a cover screw is put in and the wound is closed with stitches and allowed to heal. In general, placements in the lower jaw need to heal about three months, while placements in the upper jaw need to heal about six months.

After healing, in a second surgical procedure, the implant is uncovered, the cover screw is removed and a healing abutment or a temporary crown is placed in the implant. Temporary crowns are generally used for esthetic reasons, when the implant is in a place that is visible. Both healing abutments and temporary crowns allow the tissue around the implant to be trained to grow around the final prosthetics tooth. After about two months the soft tissue will be healed to receive the final prosthetic tooth.

Impressions are taken to make a custom abutment that takes into account the shape of the neck of the implant. The prosthetic tooth is sometimes attached to a gold cylinder that can be screwed into the abutment or it can be directly cemented onto the abutment. This multi-stage process, where the two surgical procedures are separated by a lengthy healing time, has proven to provide excellent stability in the final implant. Single step surgical implants are available, but skipping the healing step often loses some stability of the final implant.