A Look at Dental Implants and What Makes These an Ideal Tooth Replacement Option

With the popularity of dental implants, there is still plenty of confusion over what they can help with. Many individuals with missing teeth often resort to a bridge to replace a tooth, but implants provide a longer-term solution that supports the underlying jaw structure.

To help you understand the process in greater detail, here’s a look at when a single dental implant is an option and whether you are a good candidate for this tooth restoration service.


Single tooth implants are great options for replacing a missing, cracked, or severely decayed tooth. A dental implant is a permanent solution that looks and functions like a real tooth.

Dental implants don’t compromise the health of the neighbouring teeth like bridges do. And they also help keep your jawbone healthy, strong, and better preserved.

Over time, bone that no longer supports a tooth will deteriorate, and the gums will recede.

Dental implants are also much more comfortable to eat with, making these an ideal dental bridge alternative. And it’s still possible to get dental implants years after you’ve lost a tooth.

Here are some of the top benefits of opting for a dental implant:

  • It won’t decay
  • It helps preserve your jawbone
  • It’s easy to clean
  • It looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth
  • It doesn’t require your dentist to grind down your adjacent natural teeth (i.e., for bridges)


A dental implant is made up of three parts—the implant itself, which is a titanium post; an abutment to attach the implant to the crown; and, the restoration, which is a crown that looks like a natural tooth.

The dental implant process often takes a minimum of five months to complete. And many factors will affect this timeframe—such as whether your dentist needs to build up the bone first.

However, in some cases, dentists can complete the process in one visit. These types of dental implants are called one-stage implants or procedures.

Prep, Bone Grafts, and Placement

Before you get a dental implant, your dentist will take X-rays to determine if your jawbone is strong enough to support your implant. If it is not, then a bone graft may be needed first. If you have a bone graft, you will need to wait 4 to 12 months for the bone to heal before you can get an implant.

During the first stage of the dental implant placement, your dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon will make a small incision in the gum and drill a hole in the jawbone. They will then insert a titanium post in the jawbone beneath the gum line and stitch up the gum.


The implant will need three to six months to heal before the next stage of the process. As the jawbone heals around the post, the post will fuse to the bone, become integrated into the bone, and acting as the new tooth root.

When the implant is healed, your dentist will make a new incision to expose the implant and screw a collar (known as a healing cap) into the top of the implant post. This collar helps the surrounding gum tissue to heal away from the head of the implant.

Placing Abatements

After 10 to 14 days, once the gum tissue heals, your dentist will remove the healing cap and screw an abutment into the implant post.

A titanium, gold, or porcelain abutment is then attached to the implant with a screw. The abutment connects the implant to the crown and looks like a natural tooth that has been cut down for crown placement.

Your dentist will then mount a softer temporary crown on the abutment. This soft crown will help cushion the implant and protect it from the pressure of chewing while your jawbone gets stronger. This temporary crown will be in for four to six weeks.

Your dentist will create a crown using a model of your teeth so that it matches the appearance of your natural teeth. The crown restoration is often made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy, or it can be all porcelain or all metal.

The crown will either be cemented or screwed onto the abutment. If it is screwed on, the hole will then be covered with a tooth-coloured composite filling material.


To be a good candidate for dental implants, you must have enough bone in your jaw, and the bone must also be strong enough bone to support the implant.

If your jaw bone is too thin or soft to properly support a dental implant, then you might need a bone graft or bone augmentation to strengthen the bone.

Along with having a strong jaw bone, your teeth, gums, and supporting tissue near the implant location should also be healthy enough to help support the implant.

Dental implants are an excellent dental bridge alternative, providing a long-lasting tooth replacement option that looks and feels like your natural teeth.

If you need to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, speak to your dentist about your dental restoration options to restore your smile back to its former glory.