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Understanding Dental Implants

Losing a tooth can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience.  It can impact your self-confidence, oral health, and even your ability to eat comfortably. Thankfully, dental implants now offer a revolutionary solution for missing teeth by replacing them with a natural-looking and high functioning alternative.

This blog can give you all the basic details you need to know about tooth implants, from understanding their function, to navigating the entire treatment process, one step at a time.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial root that is accepted well by the body, usually made of titanium or titanium alloy, which is skillfully placed into your jawbone to function as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth.  The implant is used to hold a crown or bridge that looks and feels like a real tooth.  

Implants are a great option for patients who do not want a removeable denture or have suffered from tooth loss from a failed root canal, gum disease, a sports accident, or a fall.  These implants are safe, lightweight, and incredibly strong, with the ability to last 25 years or longer.

Once the implant is placed into the jawbone, it takes about three to five months for the bone to grow and fuse around the implant, creating a strong and stable foundation for the crown, bridge, or denture.

The Steps to Implant

First, a titanium implant is skillfully placed into the bone where the tooth was previously at or where teeth have been missing. 3-6 months later a post is attached to the implant and is prepared for the crown, denture, or bridge to be mounted onto it.  A porcelain crown is then attached to the titanium dental implant and the end result is a natural-looking, artificial tooth (or teeth) that can restore the normal function of your bite and give you your smile back.

Dental Implant Process

Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure performed by an oral surgeon or a

qualified dentist. This procedure is surprisingly easy and accurate these days.

First, your dentist will assess your oral health, jawbone density, and take your medical history to determine if you're a suitable candidate for implants. X-rays are taken to map the jawbone and plan the implant placement.  If you are taking medications for osteoporosis, such as Prolia, Fosamax, Boniva or other bone density medications, your dentist may recommend that your dental implant procedure gets done 6 months after your last injection and before the next one. Based on the results of the evaluation, your dentist will create a personalized plan that outlines the number and location of implants needed, the type of implants, and the anticipated timeline for the procedure and recovery, from start to finish.  Preparatory procedures such as adding additional bone might be necessary to ensure sufficient bone support for the implants, if needed.

Once you’re an approved candidate for dental implants, an appointment will be made, and the process can begin.

The day of your implant process will look like this:

  1. Local anesthesia will be administered to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the surgery.

  1. An incision will be made in the gum tissue to expose the underlying jawbone.

  1. Holes are then skillfully and painlessly placed into the jawbone at the precise locations determined in the personalized plan and jaw mapping. The size and depth of the holes will depend on the type and size of the implant being used.

  1. The titanium implant will be carefully inserted into the prepared holes.

  1. The gum tissue will then be stitched back over the implant site.

  1. It will take several months for the bone to fuse with the implant.  During this time, a temporary crown or bridge may be placed for aesthetics and functionality.

  1. After the bone has sufficiently healed and fused around the implant, your dentist will surgically attach a small connector piece called an abutment to the top of the implant.  An abutment helps gum tissue around the implant site to heal. It usually takes four to six weeks for the gums to heal around the abutment.

  1. Finally, the permanent crown, partial denture, or bridge is attached to the abutment, completing the implant procedure.  

Benefits of Tooth Implants

  • Implants have a natural look and feel and are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
  • Implants improve your oral health by preventing bone loss in your jaw, keeping your surrounding teeth healthy.
  • Tooth implants can enhance self-confidence, letting you smile and speak without worry of slipping dentures or gaps in your teeth.
  • With an implant you do not have to affect or drill on other teeth like you would with a bridge when preparing.
  • Implants are durable and as functional as your natural teeth.  And they last for decades, allowing you to eat and chew comfortably.
  • They can improve your speech and no more struggling with ill-fitting or slipping dentures.

Most of our dental patients who maintain good overall health, good oral habits, and have a healthy jawbone are suitable candidates for implants. However, factors like chronic health diseases, smoking, and diabetes might require further evaluation.

The entire process, from initial consultation to final crown placement, can take several months depending on the rate of individual healing and the complexity of the procedure.

Discomfort and swelling are minimal after surgery and can be easily managed with medication and properly following our post-surgery instructions.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, along with regular dental checkups at least twice a year are also crucial for the long-term success of dental implants. Brush, floss, and visit your dentist as recommended.

Costs and Other Considerations


Implants are typically slightly more expensive than other options like dentures or bridges. However, their long-term durability and functionality can make them cost-effective.

Obviously, the cost of dental implants varies and depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of implants.  Replacing a single tooth is less expensive than replacing multiple teeth or a full mouth.

  • The location of your implants.  Implants replacing your front teeth are typically more expensive than those in the back because of procedural intricacies.

  • Type of implant and crown.  Premium materials and specialized procedures can increase the cost.

  • Dentist's fees and location.  Costs can vary significantly depending on the dentist's experience, the practice geographic location, and/or any additional treatments or procedures, adding bone, or other preparatory procedures that can add to your total cost.

On average, a single implant with just one crown costs around $4200 on up.  A full mouth of dental implants can cost between $50,000 to $80,000.

Some dental insurance companies offer partial coverage for implants, and financing options may be available to qualified patients to help make implants more affordable.

While the upfront cost of dental implants may seem high, they are a long-term investment in your oral health and quality of life. Compared to other tooth replacement options, they offer superior durability, functionality, and aesthetics. Carefully weigh the costs and considerations, do your research, and consult with your Kingston dentist to determine if dental implants are the right choice for you.


  • You should be in good overall health and have healthy jawbone density for successful implant placement.

  • Certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or osteoporosis, may increase the risk of complications and may not allow you to qualify you as suitable for implants.

  • Smoking or the use of any tobacco products can significantly increase the risk of implant failure. Quitting smoking or the use of chewing tobacco is highly recommended.

  • The entire process can take several months, from consultation to the end of the procedures.

  • Just like any surgery, there are some minor risks associated with implant placement, such as infection, discomfort, and nerve damage. Your dentist will discuss these risks in detail.  In addition, make sure you ask any questions you may have before you make your decision to move forward.

Bottom Line

Overall, dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing or irreparably damaged teeth. They offer a number of benefits that are so much better than traditional dentures, including improved oral health, a more natural look and feel, as well as increased self-confidence.

Working together, our dental team can explain the implant procedure, give you an upfront cost estimate, keep you comfortable during the process, and get you on your way in a timely fashion.

At Kingston Dental, all our dentists, hygienists, and other important staff members are here to serve the dental needs of our community professionally and efficiently. We will never lose sight of our #1 goal: Patients always come first.

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