Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Dental Implants

Font Size

Topic Overview

A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces a tooth that has been taken out. Implants are natural-looking, can provide support for dentures, and do not affect the teeth bordering them. They are as stable as your real teeth and protect you from the loss of jawbone, which occurs when you lose teeth.

You may need an implant if you have lost a tooth because of tooth decay or an accident. To receive an implant, you need to have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

Posttransplantation Dental Treatment

Caution should be exercised when considering dental treatment for transplant patients until immune reconstitution has occurred; the time frame for this reconstitution can vary from 6 months to 12 months. Although hematologic parameters, including complete blood count and differential, may be documented as within normal limits, functional immune abnormalities may still be present. Patients should not resume routine dental treatment, including dental scaling and polishing, until adequate immunologic...

Read the Posttransplantation Dental Treatment article > >

After your tooth has been removed:

  • Your dentist, oral surgeon, or gum disease specialist (periodontist) will place an anchor and post in your jawbone. The anchor functions as the tooth root and is made from metals such as titanium. The post extends out of the anchor. Your new tooth will attach to the post. It takes 3 to 6 months for the jawbone to grow around the anchor and hold it in place. Some dentists use two operations to put in the anchor and the post.
  • When the anchor is well attached to the bone, your dentist will cement the artificial tooth (crown) to the implant.

You may have swelling and/or tenderness for a few days after the surgery, and your dentist may give you pain medicine. Your dentist may also suggest that you eat only soft foods for a period of time.

After you have an implant, it stays in. You do not have to remove it for cleaning or soaking, as you do dentures.

It is just as important to brush and floss implants as it is with natural teeth. If bacteria build up on implants, you can end up with gum disease and bone loss.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 14, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.