What are dental implants?

Dental implants offer long-term solutions for missing teeth that closely mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Despite becoming more popular, many people still have questions about what dental implants are and when they should be used. Dental implants are medical devices that are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis, such as a crown, bridge, denture, or facial prosthesis, or to act as an orthodontic anchor. Modern dental implants use a process called osseointegration, in which materials such as titanium form an intimate bond to bone. The implant is placed, and then after a time of healing so that the process of osseointegration can take place, the dental prosthetic is added.  

When are dental implants required?

Dental implants are recommended in situations where one or more natural teeth are missing or severely damaged. For example:

Single Tooth Replacement: If you lost a single tooth due to trauma, decay, or other reasons, a dental implant may be used to replace it without affecting adjacent teeth. A dental implant can help maintain the integrity of the surrounding teeth and prevent further dental problems. 

Multiple Teeth Replacement: Dental implants can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth. In such cases, a bridge or implant-supported dentures may be attached to the implants, providing a stable and functional solution for restoring your smile. 

Full Arch Replacement: For individuals who are missing all or most of their teeth in one or both arches, implant-supported dentures or full-arch bridges can be anchored by dental implants. This provides a secure and comfortable alternative to traditional removable dentures, improving chewing efficiency and overall oral function. 

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Preservation of Jawbone: Dental implants play a crucial role in preserving the jawbone structure following tooth loss. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding bone may begin to deteriorate over time. Implants stimulate bone growth and help maintain the natural contours of the jaw, preventing bone loss and preserving facial aesthetics. 

Improved Stability and Functionality: Unlike traditional dentures, which may become loose or shift while eating or speaking, dental implants offer unmatched stability and functionality. They are firmly anchored in the jawbone, providing a strong foundation for replacement teeth and allowing for normal chewing and speaking abilities. 

Enhanced Aesthetics: Dental implants closely resemble natural teeth in both appearance and function, helping to restore your smile and confidence. They are custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your existing teeth, resulting in a seamless and natural-looking outcome. 

What is the process like?

Although dental implants provide long-term solutions, they do require a bit of patience. Obtaining dental implants involves undergoing several stages and may take months to complete. First comes the initial consultation, during which your dentist evaluates your condition and comes up with a treatment plan. Next, the implant will be surgically placed into the jawbone. After osseointegration (the process in which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue) an abutment is attached to the implant. This acts as a connector for the replacement tooth or teeth. Last, a custom-made crown or bridge is attached to the abutments, finishing the process. 

What happens if you don’t get implants? 

There are serious risks to not getting dental implants when they are needed. If you don’t replace missing teeth, the bone in your jaw can begin to deteriorate. This can cause your other teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Additional tooth loss can make it difficult to eat and speak properly. Without the proper implant, other teeth will, with time, shift and cause gaps and misalignment.  

What do dentists do to make it more painless/easier?

There are three ways in which dentists are able to lessen pain associated with a dental implant. The first is sedation. Applying local sedation (Local Anesthesia) helps the patient feel relaxed and comfortable. Secondly, 3D Dental scans, which are performed before the beginning of the dental implant procedure, help the dentist to know the exact bone anatomy where the implant is going to be placed. This lessens the wound and allows the dentist to perform surgery more quickly. Lastly, the use of a dental microscope gives the surgeon clear vision and easier access, thus contributing to less wounding and pain for the patient. 

How much do dental implants cost?

The price for implants varies depending on the dentist you go to and the area you live in. Generally a single-tooth implant ranges from $3,000-$5,000. Dental implants are a lifetime investment, and their price reflects that. 


Dental implants are a durable solution for replacing missing teeth, restoring oral function, and preserving jawbone structure. The lengthy process of gaining dental implants is one that can provide a lifetime of benefits. The first step is to talk to a qualified dentist who will evaluate your needs and create a specified treatment plan to fit your needs. 

Whether you are facing a dental emergency or want to find a dentist for your family’s regular dental care, call us today at (717) 822-0272 or click here to schedule your appointment.

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