A simple guide to how dental implants work

If you are considering dental implants for permanent tooth replacement, you might be wondering how an implant works and how it holds your new tooth in place. In this post, we’ll explain the basics.

Implants attach directly to the jawbone

While other tooth replacement treatments like dentures or a dental bridge only replace the crown, a dental implant replaces the root of your missing tooth. This is why dental implants are much stronger and provide the same chewing power as your natural teeth.

A dental implant looks like a screw and is made with titanium or another material designed for durability and compatibility with bodily tissues. To install the implant, your oral surgeon will make a small incision in the gums and then drill a hole into the bone where the post can be screwed into place.

Dental implants fuse with your natural bone tissue

Once your dental implant has been placed, the next step is to give your body time to fuse the metal with your natural bone tissue. This process is called osseointegration and typically takes three to six months to complete, depending on your overall health and the health of the bone tissue. After a dental implant has fused with your jawbone it will be permanently fixed in place and strong enough to accept a future crown or bridge.

Understanding the abutment and implant crown

A dental implant replaces the root of your tooth. An implant crown replaces the crown, or the part of the tooth that’s visible in the mouth. While your natural tooth functions as one whole piece, from the root of the tooth to the top of the crown, your replacement tooth is made up three pieces: an implant, an implant crown, and an abutment. An abutment is simply the connecting piece that joins your new artificial tooth (crown) to the artificial root (dental implant).

A full tooth replacement

Dental implants can be an ideal tooth replacement simply because they replace both parts of your tooth, the crown and the root.