Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants and How Are They Used?

Dental implants are artificial teeth that look and feel just like real teeth that a dentist “implants” into your jaw to hold to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.  Dental implants are perfect for the person who has lost a tooth either to injury or disease and, under perfect conditions, can last a lifetime. They are also “natural” feeling and looking, so much so that you may forget that you even have an implant.

So How Does an Implant Work?

Dental implants are actually artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jaw by your dentist with advanced training or oral surgeon to hold an artificial tooth. Unlike traditional bridgework, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Installing dental implants requires a surgical procedure in which precision channels are created in the jawbone. The tooth implants are then “fitted” into the channels and help to create an “intimate” relationship where the implants fuse together with the bone. This fusion is the success of the dental implant.


Basically, bone needs stimulation to stay healthy and keep it’s form. When a tooth is lost, the bone will soon lose it’s width and height without a dental implant. The more teeth lost, the more bone lost. Sometimes your dentist will actually graft bone back into the socket or sometimes your dentist will try to regenerate the bone that has been lost. This regenerated bone actually serves as the “anchor” to the dental implants. Your dentist will work closely with other dental professionals – including a restorative dentist and a dental laboratory technician – to make and attach the implants into healthy bone.

Tell Me About the Process

For single tooth replacement, an “abutment” is attached to the implant after a period of healing. This abutment is a device that joins the implant to the tooth form called a “crown”. This is a custom made crown that is made by a dental laboratory and is cemented (or screwed) onto the abutment to keep it in place.

For multiple tooth replacements, the same procedure will apply with multiple implants. After healing is complete, permanent abutments are attached to the implants. Then they can attach to the crowns or “bridgework” (that is also made by a dental laboratory). Then finally, the bridge is cemented or screwed) onto the abutment to keep it in place. In this scenario, teeth have been replaced, bone loss has been halted and the remaining healthy teeth are undisturbed.

For more serious situations, “removable dentures” are often used to replace extensive tooth, bone and gum loss. This procedure is good for someone who has lost all of their teeth (either top or bottom) and requires at least four implants in a row. One advantage of removable dentures is the ability to clean them properly

How Long Does the Process Take?

After the initial oral surgery and the implants are properly fitted into contact with the bone, it generally takes two to six months to complete the process. After that, good oral hygiene is important – brushing and flossing daily and regular 6 month checkups.

Office Location

532 North Elam Avenue, Suite B
Greensboro, NC 27403

Office Contact

Phone: 336.292.4331
Fax: 336.316.7022

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