Answering Your Questions About a Dental or Tooth Implant

Posted on: 28 November 2017


A dental or tooth implant is a good choice for someone who has lost a tooth, or who needs a tooth extracted because of damage or decay. If you've been recommended for a dental implant, you want to ask your dentist any and all questions you might have about this product and the procedure for installing it, but note a few common questions many patients have about such implants, so you know what to expect with yours.

Is the implant an artificial tooth?

A dental or tooth implant itself is actually a type of screw or post that is inserted into the gum line and jawbone. The skin and tissue of the gums will then heal around this post, so that it becomes permanent and affixed. A cap or crown is then placed over this post, and glued into place. The cap or crown of the tooth implant may need eventual replacing after many years, depending on the quality of materials used to create that piece and your own oral hygiene routine and care.

This is somewhat different than an artificial tooth or partial dentures, which might be simply cemented onto the gums. These false teeth persistently come loose or need to be removed regularly, as they need separate cleaning and then reattaching.

Can a person get a full set of dental implants?

Whether or not you can have all your teeth replaced by implants typically depends on the overall condition of your jaw and the skin inside mouth. If you've experienced bone loss due to age, or have difficulty healing because of a medical condition, having a full mouth of implants may not be an option, as the tissue of the jaw does need to heal around those posts. However, this is something your dentist will be able to determine, and can also advise you on how many implants can be installed at once, how long it would take to heal properly, and the like.

Will a dental implant corrode or break?

Dental implants are usually made of titanium, which won't corrode or rust, or suffer other such damage from everyday exposure to saliva, food and beverages, oral care products, and anything else you might have in your mouth! Titanium is very strong and dense, so the implant should also hold up to impact, if you should get injured while playing sports or due to a car accident. Your dentist can note how often you should have your implant checked, but many such posts last for decades, if not indefinitely.