101 Guide to What Is a Dental Implant

May 24, 2023 7 min read

101 Guide to What Is a Dental Implant

101 Guide to What Is a Dental Implant


Dental implants have become a popular option for people with missing teeth or those who require tooth replacements. Implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and can provide a sturdy base for dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. While dental implants are typically successful, individuals with bone loss may wonder if they are eligible for this treatment.

When patients have experienced a substantial loss of either bone or bone density, proper acceptance of dental implants into the jaw can be made much more difficult. If you're thinking about getting dental implants, you'll be glad to know it's possible even with sub-optimal conditions. In this article we will provide detailed answers to your query Can I Get Dental Implants with Bone Loss?



A dental implant is one of the best tooth replacement options with bone lossand is usually a titanium post placed into your jaw bone that acts as an anchor in the place of the tooth root. Permanent or removable dental prostheses (such as dentures, crowns, and bridges) are then secured to the titanium root. It is currently the best and most effective way to replace missing teeth due to how sturdy and that they can also support artificial teeth.



There are several types of dental implants available, and each type offers its unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common Types of Dental Implants:

  1. Endosteal Implants:These are the most common type of dental implants and are placed directly into the jawbone. They consist of a titanium screw that serves as a replacement for the tooth root and an abutment that connects the implant to the dental restoration. Endosteal implants are suitable for patients with sufficient bone density and offer a secure and stable foundation for dental restorations.
  2. Subperiosteal Implants:This type of implant is placed on top of the jawbone, and a metal framework is used to hold the dental restoration. Subperiosteal implants are typically used for patients who do not have sufficient bone density to support endosteal implants.
  3. Zygomatic Implants:Zygomatic implants are used when a patient has severe bone loss in the upper jaw. Zygomatic implants are placed in the cheekbone rather than the jawbone and offer a viable solution for patients who have been deemed unsuitable for traditional implant procedures.


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Since installing dental implants could mean major surgery, patients need to first complete an extensive evaluation in order to prepare for the procedure. This includes:

A Thorough Dental Assessment
A comprehensive dental examination provides your dentist with a comprehensive image of the health of your jaw and teeth. Dental X-rays and 3D pictures along with models of your jaw and teeth will be drawn out.

Medical History
Inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have (or have had) or the medications you're taking, including prescription, over-the-counter or herbal remedies.

Treatment Plan
The program is customized to your individual needs and takes into account factors like the number of teeth that have to be replaced and the health of your jawbone and the remaining teeth.

Removing the Damaged Tooth

Some dental implants permit the removal of damaged teeth and their immediate replacement by implants. In most instances, the damaged tooth needs to be removed and the affected area must heal before taking the next step. 

Jawbone Preparation (Grafting), If Needed

If your jawbone is not strong enough to support an implant, your dentist may recommend bone grafting. This involves taking a small amount of bone from another part of your body or using synthetic bone material and placing it in the jawbone to create a stronger foundation for the implant.

Dental Implant Placement

Once the jawbone is ready, the dentist will place the implant into the jawbone. This involves making a small incision in the gum tissue and drilling a small hole into the jawbone. The implant is then screwed into the hole and covered with a protective cap.

Bone Growth and Healing

After the implant is placed, the bone around it needs to heal and grow. This process, known as osseointegration, can take several months. During this time, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone, creating a stable base for the artificial tooth.

Abutment Placement

Once the bone has healed and grown around the implant, the protective cap is removed, and an abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment is a small connector piece that connects the implant to the artificial tooth.

Artificial Tooth Placement

The final step in dental implant surgery is placing the artificial tooth. This involves taking an impression of your mouth and creating a customized crown or bridge that fits onto the abutment. The artificial tooth is then attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant process.

Follow Up-After the Procedure

The patient is given follow-up visits to ensure that the implant is perfectly in place and no other serious issues are present.


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Dental implants have a commendable success rate, but occasionally the metal implant fails to fuse seamlessly with the bone. In such a scenario the implant must be extracted. But fret not - your dentist will tidy up the area and attempt the procedure anew after three months.

To ensure your dental work stands the test of time, it is imperative to adopt a stringent oral hygiene regimen, schedule regular appointments with your dentist, and steer clear of habits that can damage your teeth. Activities like crunching on hard candies or ice can wreak havoc on your crowns and natural teeth. Additionally, abstaining from tooth-staining products like tobacco and caffeine can help preserve your pearly whites. And, if you tend to grind your teeth, it is crucial to seek the right treatment.



Can you get dental implants if you have periodontal disease?

It depends on the severity of the periodontal disease. If the disease has caused significant damage to the gums and supporting bone, it may not be possible to get dental implants. However, if the disease is under control and the remaining bone is sufficient to support the implant, dental implants may still be an option.

What causes bone loss around dental implants?

Bone loss around dental implants can be caused by several factors, including implant failure, infection, trauma, and poor oral hygiene. In some cases, it may be due to the body's rejection of the implant.

Can you get dental implants if you have bone deterioration?

It depends on the severity of the bone deterioration. If there is not enough bone to support an implant, bone grafting may be necessary to build up the bone before the implant can be placed. In some cases, alternative tooth replacement options may be more suitable.

Are implants the best option for tooth replacement?

Implants are considered one of the best options for tooth replacement because they are permanent, durable, and look and function like natural teeth. However, they may not be suitable for everyone depending on their oral health, bone density, and other factors.

How do I know if I need dental implants?

 If you are missing one or more teeth and want a permanent and natural-looking solution, dental implants may be a good option for you. You should consult with a dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you based on your oral health and other factors.

Which dental implant option is best for you?

The best dental implant option for you will depend on your oral health, bone density, and other factors. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and recommend the best option, which may include traditional implants, mini-implants, or All-on-Four implants.

Dental Implant Alternatives

If dental implants are not an option for you due to bone loss or other factors, there are several alternatives to consider. These include dentures, bridges, and implant-supported dentures. Your dentist can help you determine which option is best for you based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Are dental implants safe?

Yes, dental implants are generally considered safe and have a high success rate. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks involved, such as infection, nerve damage, and implant failure. It's important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your dentist or oral surgeon before undergoing the procedure.

How common are dental implants?

Dental implants are becoming increasingly common as a replacement for missing teeth. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, around 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, and this number is expected to grow by 500,000 annually.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution for missing teeth. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades or even a lifetime. However, the longevity of the implant depends on factors such as the patient's oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, the quality of the implant, and the placement procedure.

Does insurance cover dental implants?

Most dental insurance plans do not cover the cost of dental implants, as they are considered a cosmetic procedure. However, some plans may cover a portion of the cost or offer discounts. It's important to check with your insurance provider to see what your plan covers.

How common is dental implant failure?

Dental implant failure is rare, with a success rate of over 95%. However, it can occur in some cases, typically due to factors such as poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a lack of bone density to support the implant.


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