Skip to content

Dental Implants

Font Size

Topic Overview

A dental implant is an artificial tooth. Your dentist may suggest it if a permanent tooth fell out from an injury or was taken out because of bad tooth decay.

Implants are natural-looking, can provide support for dentures, and do not affect the teeth bordering them. But after you have an implant, you may need to have more surgery in the future so that the implant stays in place in your jawbone. Talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of this treatment option.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

Brush Up Naturally

By Ellen Strum Find out how herbal and natural ingredients can refresh your mouth-care routine Walk down the mouth-care aisle, and you'll find several products that tout being natural or herbal. In fact, Americans spent $386,000,000 on natural oral hygiene products in 2002, up nearly 15 percent from 2001, according to Nutrition Business magazine. About nine percent of Americans choose natural oral hygiene products over the non-natural commercial ones. According to Dr. Earl Mindell,...

Read the Brush Up Naturally article > >

To receive an implant, you need to have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant.

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 or tenderness or both 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.

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: November 04, 2013
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

sore foot
3 warning signs.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms and treatment.
man behind computer screen
10 possible causes.
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Common triggers.
man screaming
Making sense of symptoms.
human liver
What puts you at risk?
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.