October 19

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Did you know that the average person in the United States has lost an average of twelve teeth (including wisdom teeth) by the time they are 50 years old?

Thankfully, there are many ways to restore lost teeth such as dentures, implants, and bridges. Dental implants can cost a bit more than crowns and bridges, but they last a lifetime and provide excellent results.

If you are considering dental implants but don't feel comfortable signing up for a procedure you don't understand, read on. Here's how dental implants work and how they'll change your life.

dental implant dentist showing how dental implants work

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery involves replacing lost or damaged teeth with artificial teeth. A dentist will need to replace the roots of your teeth with metal and screwlike posts.

After your dentist has installed a dental implant, your new tooth or teeth will function just like your old ones.

Many people choose to get dental implants instead of dentures or bridges if they don't have natural tooth roots. These roots are necessary for building dentures or bridgework tooth replacements.

There are many ways to perform dental implant surgery. In order to create a plan that works for your unique needs, your dentist will need to assess the condition of your jawbone.

It is possible that you will need to visit your dentist several times in order to complete dental implant surgery. This is because your bone will need to grow around the implant. This may take several months.

Once your implants have been successfully installed, you will have solid support to hold your new teeth.

Why You Should Consider Getting Dental Implants

People get dental implants when they need to replace the roots of their missing teeth.

A dentist will need to fuse these titanium implants to your jawbone so that they won't slip, create noise, or cause harm to your jawbone. On the other hand, those who receive dentures or bridgework often have these kinds of problems.

It is also important to know that the materials your dentist will use for your dental implants will not decay. This means that your implants will last for a lifetime.

There are several reasons why people might consider getting dental implants.

The most common reason is that somebody has one or more missing teeth that they want to replace.

People who are not able or are not interested in wearing dentures also choose to receive dental implants.

But keep in mind that dental implants are not suitable for everybody who wants them.

Your jawbone will need to have reached full growth, you will need to have enough bone to secure the implants, and it is necessary to have healthy oral tissues.

You'll need to be okay with spending several months to complete the process of installing dental implants. You also might not be able to get dental implants if you smoke tobacco.

Dental Implant Procedure Risks

Every type of surgery will carry some type of risk. This is no different for dental implant surgery, even though it is extremely rare for people to run into problems.

The most common type of risk is that you will develop an infection at the implant site.

It is also possible to cause damage to surrounding teeth or blood vessels.

If you notice that your natural teeth, lips, or chin are tingling or in pain, it is possible that one or more of your nerves has been damaged from the procedure. Keep in mind that it is very unlikely that this will happen.

People who do not properly clean their dental implants will put themselves at risk of gum disease and implant failure. This is why it is imperative that you understand how to clean your dental implants.

Preparing for Dental Implants

You might need to visit several different specialists in order to prepare for receiving dental implants. This might include visiting a doctor who specializes in mouth, face, and jaw conditions. 

You also might need to see a periodontist and a prosthodontist.

Since you'll need to have several surgical procedures to receive dental implants, there are several evaluations that you'll need to have.

First, your dentist will need to give you a comprehensive dental exam. They will take X-rays and might take several 3D photos. Your dentist will then create models of your jaw and teeth.

A dental care professional will then need to review your medical history. During this procedure, make sure to inform your dentist about all of your relevant medical conditions.

Write down all of the prescription and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.

Don't be surprised if your dentist prescribed antibiotics before they perform the dental implant surgery. Your dentist might prescribe this medication if you have certain heart conditions or orthopedic implants. 

Your dentist will then work with you to create a treatment plan. In order to create a plan that works for your needs, your dentist will assess how many teeth you need implants for and what condition your jawbone is in.

Your dentist will need to give you anesthesia before the surgery. Ask your dental specialist what type of anesthesia will be best for you.

Depending on what kind of anesthesia your dentist gives you, it is possible that you will need to follow certain rules related to eating or drinking before your surgery.

If your dentist is going to give you general anesthesia, make a plan to have a friend or family member pick you up and take you home after surgery. You'll need to rest and recuperate for the remainder of the day.

Dental Implants: What to Expect

In most cases, dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery. Your dentist will need to complete it in several stages so that you can have time to heal between each procedure.

The first step involves removing your damaged tooth or teeth. Your dentist will then might need to prepare your jawbone for grafting.

Once this is completed, you'll receive your dental implant. After your bone has healed and grown around the implant, your dentist will need to place an abutment and install an artificial tooth.

Don't be surprised if it takes a couple of months to complete this entire process. This is because the bones in your jaw will need to have plenty of time to grow around the implant.

Keep in mind that this process will look different for everybody who receives dental implants. It is possible that your dentist will use different materials for your procedure.

They also may be able to combine certain steps.

What to Expect If Bone Grafting Is Required

Some people have jaw bones that are too thin or too soft. If this is the case, your dentist might need to complete a bone grafting procedure before they install your dental implants.

There is a good reason why this might be necessary. When you chew food, you'll be placing a large amount of pressure on your jawbone.

If it is too weak to support the implant, the surgery might fail. To prevent this from happening, your dentist may create a bone graft so that your dental implant will have a stronger base.

There are various kinds of bone grafts that your dentist might use. The most common options are natural bone grafts and synthetic bone grafts.

A natural bone graft might need to come from another part of your body. Make sure to have a conversation with your dentist about what option will work best for your unique needs.

If you do need to get a bone graft, it will be necessary to wait a few months until the transplanted bone has completely fused with the new bone. It will then be strong enough to support a dental implant.

Many people only need minor bone grafting. It may be possible for a dentist to complete this kind of procedure at the same time as the implant surgery.

Placing the Implant

If you want to find out about how do dental implants work, you'll need to understand the process of placing the implant.

To complete this part of the procedure, your dentist will need to cut open your gum and expose the bone. They will then drill holes into the bone to create a space for placing the dental implant metal posts.

These posts will serve as your tooth root and will need to be implanted into your jawbone.

Once your dentist places the implant, there will be a gap in your mouth where your tooth is missing.

Your dentist will be able to place a temporary denture in this space for the sake of appearance if this is something you desire. You'll need to remove this denture and clean it when you are asleep.

Healing and Bone Growth

You might need to wait for your jawbone to grow around your new implant before continuing to the next step of the procedure.

This process is known as osseointegration and it can take a couple of months. Once osseointegration is complete, you will have a solid base in your jaw where your dentist will be able to place a new artificial tooth.

Placing the Abutment

It is possible that you will need to have another surgery in order to put the abutment in place. An abutment is a piece where the crown of your new tooth will need to be attached.

This is a minor outpatient surgery. Your dentist will probably use local anesthesia to complete it.

There are several steps involved in placing an abutment. First, your dentist will open your gum to expose the dental implant.

They will then attach the abutment to the dental implant before closing your gum tissue around the abutment.

Selecting Your New Artificial Tooth

Your dentist will need to make more impressions of your mouth and teeth after your gums fully heal. They will need to do this so that they can make a crown.

Your jawbone will need to be strong enough to hold your new tooth before a dentist will be able to place the crown.

There are several different types of artificial teeth that you can choose.

A removable tooth consists of an artificial tooth that is surrounded by a plastic gum. Your dentist will mount it onto a frame that is connected to the implant's abutment.

You will be able to remove the tooth whenever it needs to be cleaned or repaired.

A fixed artificial tooth will need to be screwed and cemented onto your implant's abutment. It is not possible to remove this kind of artificial tooth for cleaning.

In most cases, each crown will need to be attached to its own dental implant.

Caring for Your Implant After the Procedure

It is normal to experience a bit of discomfort after going through dental implant surgery. It is possible that your gums and face will swell and they may become bruised.

It is also normal to experience pain and minor bleeding at the site of the implant.

Make sure that you get a hold of your dentist if you are still experiencing pain or discomfort that does not start going away several days after you have surgery.

dental implant dentist showing patient how dental implants work

How Do Dental Implants Work?

If you have been wondering how dental implants work, keep in mind that the procedure is sometimes different from person to person.

It may be necessary to complete the procedure in several phases that span over a period of several months.

We have experienced and qualified dentists who will ensure that your implant procedure goes smoothly. Check out our dental implant cost once you are ready to get started and schedule a consultation!


At Montclair Dental Spa, our experienced, dedicated team of professionals will work with you to determine the best treatment plans for your unique needs. We take pride in helping our patients achieve their goals. Contact us today to learn more!


All-on-Four, Dental Implants, Dental Restoration, MIssing Teeth, Smile Restoration

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