Dental implants are artificial teeth roots that are made of synthetic material, and are anchored to your jaw by surgery in order to keep a replacement tooth or a bridge in place. Implants give the advantage of not having to depend on any of the neighboring teeth to stay in place and they are permanent. An implant is a preferred solution to replacing lost teeth because they appear and feel just like your natural teeth.

The materials used in making implants are various types of bone-like and metallic porcelain materials suitable to human body tissue. Dental implants can be done in a variety of ways. One is to position it into the jaw bone, just as a natural tooth root would occur. Another way, if  there is limited jaw structure, is to create a metal framework, custom-made, that is fitted right on the existing bone structure.

Who can use dental implants?

You should discuss with your dentist whether or not you are a good prospect for a dental implant. It is important that your health is good and that you have healthy bone structure and gums for the implant to stably take hold. Patients who cannot use dentures may additionally be great prospects, specifically for Mini Implants. If you have chronic trouble, such as clenching or grinding, or any conditions of the system, like diabetes, the rate of success for a dental implant reduces significantly. Furthermore, smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol reduce your chances of being a good candidate for dental implants.

The dental implant procedure

The dentist does a surgical procedure, anchoring the artificial root directly into your own jaw bone. It is an in-house surgery that requires only local anesthesia. Afterwards, medications can be taken for any soreness or pain.

Length of the procedure

It can take up to nine months from start to finish to do the implant procedure. New technologies are being developed to attempt to reduce the time needed to heal from the process. Since the healing process is different for each patient, the healing times will differ. The healing process can go for as long as six months, following the surgical insertion of the screws and posts, and up to two months after that for the fitting of the replacement teeth to be completed.

Success rate of implants

The rate of success for implants is dependent upon the location of the tooth in the mouth and its purpose. The for teeth positioned in the front of the lower jaw, the rate of success is around 95%, and for teeth positioned on the upper jaw in the rear or on the sides it is about 85%.

Care of implants

Your general health does have an impact on your dental implant’s rate of success. If you have poor oral hygiene, you have more of a chance of implant failure. It’s important to regularly brush and floss around the implants minimally two times per day. The dentist will provide you with guidelines on the exact care of the dental implants. Extra dental cleanings, as much as four per year, might be required to guarantee the gums stay healthy.

Cost of implants

Because implants are done as a surgical procedure and are a more involved process, the cost is higher than for normal bridge work. Some dental treatments or portions of the procedure can be included in your dental or medical insurance. You can ask your dentist if your policy covers the procedure.

Choosing a dentist trained in dental implants


Dentists that can perform dental implants go through a program of extensive training on the procedure. Your dentist may do the treatment or he may consult with specialists  to get the desired outcome needed. Be sure to ask your dentist questions regarding his/her education in dental implant procedures.