What Are Dental Implants? Everything You Need to Know

If you have one or more missing teeth, then you may want to consider dental implants. But what are dental implants? Click here to learn more.


Around 20% of people suffer from trauma to their teeth, resulting in injury or a lost tooth, at some point in their lives. If you recently lost a tooth, don’t wait to visit your local dentist. They might recommend dental implants.

What are dental implants, exactly, and how can they help restore your smile? Read on to find out.

After reviewing this guide, you can find a professional who offers the dental services you need. Restoring your smile can improve your ability to chew and boost your self-esteem. Learn more about dental implants in this guide today.


What Are Dental Implants?

Before covering what the procedure entails, let’s discuss the basics. What are dental implants, exactly?

A dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root after you’ve lost a natural tooth. The implant, which looks like a small screw, is surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant stimulates your jawbone while acting as an anchor for a new tooth.

The procedure is broken into multiple appointments.

After your consultation appointment, your dentist will fit the implant into your jawbone. Over the duration of a few months, bone will surround the implant, ensuring it remains in place. This process is called osseointegration.

Once the osseointegration phase is complete, your local dentist can add a replacement tooth, or crown, atop the implant’s metal connector.

The crown will look like your natural teeth. Your dentist can even match the color of the crown to your surrounding teeth, ensuring it blends with your smile. Choosing the dental implant procedure will ensure there aren’t any gaps that might impact your smile or oral health.


Why You Need Implants

Make sure to schedule a consultation appointment with your general dentist to determine if implants suit your needs.

Your dentist will only consider you an ideal candidate if you’re healthy enough to undergo oral surgery. They’ll need to check the state of your gums and jawbone, too. For example, you’ll need enough jawbone to ensure the implant remains in place after the procedure.

Otherwise, your dentist can outline other treatment options if you’ve recently lost a tooth.

You should also let your dentist know ahead of time if you have a bleeding disorder, liver, or heart disease.

Types of Implants

During your consultation appointment, your dentist might mention the different types of dental implants that are available. They might recommend one implant over another based on your:

  • Current health
  • Budget
  • Personal preference
  • Location of the missing tooth
  • Jawbone health

There are two main dental implants a dentist might recommend: subperiosteal and endosteal implants.

Subperiosteal implants are designed to rest atop the jawbone, while endosteal implants are placed within the bone. Most dentists don’t recommend subperiosteal implants, though.

In some cases, your dentist might recommend mini dental implants instead. These implants are smaller and only used if your teeth need anchorage for a short period of time. Your dentist might remove the implants once their task is complete.

Otherwise, your dentist might recommend all-in-4 dental implants if you’re missing multiple teeth located at an arch. An all-in-4 implant can ensure more stability.


The Procedure

Before the procedure, your dentist will walk you through the process.

First, they’ll need to numb your mouth with local anesthesia. They might recommend IV sedation instead based on your preference.

Your dentist will then create an incision in your gums to place the implant into your jawbone. Once it’s in the proper position, the dentist will close your gums over the implant. Then, the osseointegration process can begin as your gums heal.

The osseointegration process can take a few months. Once the bone has grown around your implant, your dentist can place the abutment over it. The abutment is responsible for holding the new tooth in the proper place.

Your dentist will create a custom replacement tooth; a crown. After you’ve healed, they’ll attach the crown to the abutment to complete your smile.

Afterward, you might experience bruising, minor bleeding, or swelling. Talk to your dentist about any lifestyle changes you’ll need to make. For example, you’ll need to eat soft foods while you heal from the procedure.

They might also recommend you use over-the-counter medications to ease any pain or discomfort you experience.

Make sure to schedule follow-up appointments with your local dentist.


The Benefits

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of dental implant procedures scheduled increased by 6.3%. Between 2020 and 2026, the total number could increase by 23%. More people are beginning to recognize the benefits of this procedure.

A dental implant can replace any teeth you’ve lost due to an injury, infection, decay, or disease. It’s important to replace a lost tooth before the surrounding teeth start to shift. Otherwise, you might start to experience complications.

For example, your jawbone might begin to deteriorate if it no longer receives the stimulation it needs. You might notice changes to the shape of your face as a result. Wrinkling around the lips and a sunken appearance are common symptoms, too.

You might also develop a lisp.

You can use a dental implant to complete your smile while ensuring your jawbone has the proper stimulation. The implant is designed to look and function like your natural teeth. You should have an easier time chewing, speaking, and smiling with confidence after it’s placed.


What Are Dental Implants?: Talk to Your Dentist About Treatment Today

Don’t let a missing tooth impact your oral health. Instead, ask your dentist, “what are dental implants?” They can walk you through the treatment process and help you determine if this procedure meets your needs.

Ready to see your new, stunning smile? We can’t wait to help.

Schedule your consultation appointment! Contact us today to get started.