Health Care

How Dental Implants Work

Having good oral hygiene is important. But even if you regularly brush and floss, you may find yourself needing a dental implant.

Thanks to recent developments in dental technology, it is now possible to meet your doctor, decide on how to replace the missing tooth, undergo surgery and come out with a close imitation of the missing teeth. The best news is, this is a long-term tooth replacement solution. Read on to take a quick look at how dental implants are done, what types are available, who should consider getting them, how they are beneficial and how much patients tend to pay for dental implants.

Who Should Get Them and Why?

Some may be deciding whether to go for dental implants or dentures as both have their pros and cons. Implants are ideal for those that have one or more missing teeth and are looking for a long-term replacement with teeth that feel and look natural. Dentures are a much cheaper option but some may find them to be uncomfortable or suffer from sore spots as they may not properly fitted.

How It’s Done

Implants are done by dental surgeons who essentially replace tooth roots with titanium, screw line posts into the jawbone, beneath the gum. Once the gum tissue is healed and the frame is fixed to the jawbone, they go in again and attach an artificial tooth, bridge or denture, to the implants, which act as stability for the teeth. Having dentures or bridges attached to implants allow patients to not have to worry about them shifting or slipping in their mouths making it easier to eat and speak.

The Drawbacks

As with any surgery, there are potential complications and drawbacks. Directly after surgery, the patient may experience minor bleeding or swelling and/or bruising on the gums and face. In general, there is a risk of nerve damage, delayed bone healing, jaw fracture and damage done to the teeth. Those with dental implants may have trouble with bone loss over the years which is normal, but if there is too much bone loss around the implant, the entire implant may need to be replaced. Much of this though depends on the surgeon, the design of the teeth and how well you maintain them. This type of surgery often takes several months to complete, so time is essential.


In general, the cost of a single tooth implant can be between $1,000-3,000 plus $500-3,000 for the abutment and crown. For a full set of implant supported dentures, the cost could be between $25,000-95,000. Dental insurance often will cover less than 10% of your fees and it may only be for crowns, abutment or implant.


Whether it is just one implant of a full set of dental implants, it is important to treat and care for them the way you would with your natural teeth. This means keeping your teeth and gums clean by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and avoiding the temptation to chomp down on hard items such as candy or ice cubes as this could break your crown. One of the best things you can do for your implants is attending regular dental routine checkups. This is the ideal way for your dentist to detect any wear and tear or complications.

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