Q & A To Help Make Sense Of Dental Implants

Dental implants are some of the most natural-looking tooth restoration options. Even though they have become quite popular, implants may still seem mysterious to most people. Here are a few questions and answers about dental implants to help you make sense of these restorative devices: 

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth. They consist of the following three components:

Implant Screw

An implant screw replaces the root of the lost tooth. The screw is usually made of a non-reactive metal, such as titanium, and it is surgically implanted into your jaw bone where the root of your tooth once was.


The abutment is a connector that attached to the implant screw once the screw has become stable in your jaw bone. The connector allows your dentist to place a dental crown over the screw.


A dental crown is the final component of a dental implant restoration. The crown may be made of several different materials, such as porcelain, porcelain-over-metal, stainless steel or metal alloy. Porcelain crowns are usually used if the implant site is near the front of your mouth. However, to lower the cost of the crown, a less expensive material may be used if the crown will be placed toward the back of your mouth.

How long does a dental implant last?

A dental implant is designed to last a lifetime. However, an implant can fail if complications occur during the healing period.  These complications you may be due to poor blood flow, poor bone density or trauma that moves the implant. People who smoke or who have uncontrolled blood sugar may be at greater risk for implant failure.

What stabilizes the dental implant?

The dental implant goes through a process called osseointegration in which the jawbone fuses with the implant screw. Once the bone and screw have properly fused, the implant becomes stable enough to withstand the impact of chewing. Fusion usually takes place within two to four months after the implant is placed.

How much does a dental implant cost?

For a single tooth, an implant is usually priced between $1,000 and $3,000. However, this does not include the cost of a crown, which can range between $500 and $3,000.

If you are considering a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, consult with a dentist. He or she will be able to assess the state of your mouth and the density of your jaw bone to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implantation.