Dental implants are metal posts surgically placed in your gums and jawbone to act like the root of the tooth.

Dental implants can be treated just like your normal teeth with regular brushing and flossing.

At your dental implant consultation, your dentist will assess the health of your gums and jawbone to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If needed, a gum or bone graft may be completed before the implant is placed to strengthen your mouth.

Dental implants may not be appropriate if you are pregnant, use tobacco products, or are being treated for another issue such as periodontal disease.


Before the dental implant is placed, you may need to have damaged teeth extracted, as well as gum and bone grafts. When your mouth is ready for dental implant surgery, the treatment area will be numbed with a local anesthesia. Other anesthesia or sedation can be used to relax you during the treatment.

Your dental surgeon will start by making a surgical incision in your gums so the post can be placed in your jawbone. The incision will be stitched closed with some of the dental implant visible above the gumline. This process will continue if more than one post is needed. As the implant integrates with the gums and jawbone over the following months, a temporary crown or cover will be placed over the implants. Once your dental surgeon decides that the dental implant is strong enough, the permanent restoration (crown, bridge, or denture) will be attached to the post and adjusted for a comfortable fit.

What is the Difference Between Dental Implants and Dentures?

Replacing One Missing Tooth

If you have one missing tooth, then your dentist will probably recommend that you get a dental implant and crown.

Common Replacements for Multiple Missing Teeth

Dentists who specialize in tooth replacement often recommend bridges or partial or complete dentures when they meet patients who have several teeth missing.

Removable Partial Dentures

If you have several missing teeth, then you may prefer removable partial dentures. Partial dentures have metal frameworks and clasps that attach them to your healthy teeth. Since the prosthetic sits right against your gums and teeth, they often look like your original teeth. Properly trained dentists can even make custom dentures that fit your mouth perfectly.  Some patients prefer dentures because they offer a low-cost way to replace missing teeth. More often than not, partial dentures with clasps cost less than those with precision attachments.

Tooth-Supported Bridges

Tooth-supported bridges offer a more permanent solution to tooth loss. For tooth-supported bridges, your dentist will create a row of three or more fake teeth. Your dentist will attach the prosthetic by cementing the outer teeth to your healthy teeth.

Implant-Supported Bridges

You can also choose an implant supported bridge. If you take this option, your dentist will install a series of implants in your gums. The implants hold the bridge in place.  Some dentists and patients prefer implant-supported bridges, because they are more comfortable, keep healthy teeth straight and offer long-term solutions to tooth loss.

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