When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants and the restorations attached to them are the closest thing available to biological teeth. A dental implant is a prosthetic used to replace the missing root of a tooth. Secured to a dental implant is a restoration like a dental crown or bridge, which replaces the biting (visible) surfaces of teeth.

How Dental Implants Work

A dental implant is a screw-like prosthetic made from titanium. It is embedded into the jawbone and bone mass will fuse around it over time through a process called osseointegration. With bone holding the implant in place, a dental implant can durably support a restoration (such as a crown or bridge). Restorations are permanently attached to dental implants by abutments. By replacing both a tooth’s visible surface and roots, patients can enjoy a lifelike prosthetic that assists with optimal oral function.


Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer unique benefits when compared to conventional tooth replacement methods like dentures and bridges. First, a dental implant supports existing biological teeth by keeping them in place. When teeth are next to empty tooth sockets, they can shift out of place. Secondly, dental implants keep bone in the jaw healthy. When teeth are missing, the roots can no longer stimulate bone. The body often resorbs unstimulated bone. Bone loss is problematic because it can lead to further tooth loss. This issue commonly affects people who have lost teeth. An additional unique benefit to dental implants is the fact that they are easy to maintain. A person cares for dental implants by brushing and flossing. Overnight soaking, special cleansing solutions, and water irrigators are not necessary to keep dental implants and surrounding oral tissue clean with proper oral hygiene.

If you are interested in implant dentistry, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Weakley. At your appointment, we will perform an oral examination, ask questions about your health history, and take diagnostic images to determine if this treatment option is right for you.

Common Questions

A dental implant is a prosthetic used to replace the roots of teeth. Made from titanium, a dental implant has a ridged texture and gradually widens on one end. The wider end of the dental implant features an abutment that is used to hold restorations like crowns and bridges or prosthetic teeth like dentures. Implants are biocompatible with the body. This means they can exist in the jawbone and won't be rejected by the body as a foreign object. Since they are biocompatible, dental implants can successfully replace the missing root systems of teeth for decades, if not a lifetime. A single dental implant can be used to replace one lost tooth or a series of dental implants can be used to support a full arch of prosthetic teeth (dentures). Due to implants being very durable and lifelike, they are considered the preferred method for replacing lost teeth, increasing oral function, and maintaining oral wellness after tooth loss.

Candidacy for dental implants is determined by a few factors. While dental implants are great for replacing lost teeth, they are not right for every patient. In most cases, those receiving dental implants need adequate bone structure to support these titanium prosthetics and a history of good oral health. For instance, those who suffer with advanced and uncontrolled periodontal disease are not ideal candidates for dental implants because periodontal disease attacks the structures (gums and bone) that support dental implants.

Fortunately, many patients can be eligible for dental implants with the help of tissue grafting procedures. Bone grafts and gum grafts can be used to rebuild structures affected by oral disease. If patients can maintain adequate oral health after these treatments, they might be candidates for dental implants.

When it comes to determining the best tooth replacement method for your needs, we encourage you to consult with our dentist. A consultation involves a review of your health history, an oral examination, and diagnostics to determine if dental implants are right for you.

Dental implants are placed through a surgical procedure. The narrower end of the dental implant is loaded into the jawbone through the empty tooth socket. After this procedure is complete, patients will enter a phase of treatment that involves monitoring the implant with diagnostic images over time. This phase of treatment is important for determining the stability of implants. Once the bone stabilizes implants, patients will receive their permanent restorations to compete the tooth replacement process.
Since everyone’s treatment plan is unique, the price of dental implants and the cost of the procedure required to place them can vary. Some patients may need preliminary treatments such as tooth extractions and tissue grafts before they can receive a dental implant. Moreover, the placing of dental implants can be more involved in certain areas of the mouth due to the arch of the jaw and the sinus cavity above the upper mandible. The best way to determine an estimate of your treatment costs is to speak with our staff after your tooth replacement consultation.