What are Teeth Implants?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Teeth implants are a type of false teeth which mount to posts that are surgically implanted in the jaw bone by a periodontist or oral surgeon. They are among the many choices for replacement of missing teeth including bridges and dentures which a dentist may discuss with patients. Teeth implants are a popular option because they are more stable than other methods of replacing missing teeth, allowing the patient to use them just like normal teeth. Although the complete implant process from start to finish can take several months, many patients are pleased with the results.

A cross section of a tooth.
A cross section of a tooth.

Teeth implants can be customized and made from a variety of materials, although the basic implant has a titanium base with a porcelain false tooth that attaches to it. The false tooth can also be made from a variety of metals, including gold. With proper care, teeth implants will last through the life of the patient, and they also tend to be more comfortable than dentures or bridges. Especially for patients missing only one or two teeth, teeth implants are an excellent option to restore a smile.

An illustration of a dental implant with a titanium abutment.
An illustration of a dental implant with a titanium abutment.

Teeth implants start with the dental implant itself, which is usually made of titanium. The implant is screwed into the jawbone by a surgeon, and left alone for several months so that bone can grow over the implant, turning it into a solid anchor for the false tooth that will be mounted on it. During this period, a conventional dental bridge or denture can be padded and worn over the implants so that the patient will have a set of teeth to use. After the jawbone and gums have healed, false teeth are custom made for the patient and screwed or cemented onto the dental implant.

Like other types of cosmetic dentistry, teeth implants are not suitable for all patients. Patients who have lost teeth due to gum disease, or who have weakened jawbones, are not good candidates for teeth implants as the implants may fail to anchor properly. Because teeth implants are like normal teeth, they also require meticulous dental hygiene and a willingness for multiple repeat visits to test fit and general oral health. If a dentist feels that a patient is a suitable candidate for implants, he or she will go over the procedure along with other options for replacement of missing teeth.

Dental implants can brighten and improve a person's smile.
Dental implants can brighten and improve a person's smile.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


Should I have been offered the dental surgery when I had pre-existing immune system problems, as well as a strong family history of heart disease and allergies, among other problems? The surgery was painful, exhausting and now my headaches are worse than they ever were before, especially when I have to wear the dentures.

My hearing tested out to be twice as bad as it was previous to the surgery. My face has swollen, especially around the nose! I am worried about sinus loss.

Please comment on whether you believe there may be any validity to my newly experienced health concerns. It's been three and a half year since the dental implant surgery, and I highly regret having ever had it!


I've had five implants and although it's not something I'd want to do for fun it wasn't that bad an experience overall. The only part of the dental implant procedure that was tough was when they stitch your gum afterwards. That's just kind of surreal.


@CaithnessCC - Dental implants vary depending on several factors, but the average range would be between $1000 - $4000.

Before I had mine done I checked out several clinics. You have to be careful because some places advertise cheap titanium teeth implants but the price doesn't cover all the extra things you need doing, such as x-rays.

I also strongly recommend that you speak to the dentist before making a decision, as a good practitioner will take a detailed medical history before proceeding. People with diabetes, heart disease and several other conditions aren't always suitable candidates.

If you are going to have more than one implant you may be able to negotiate a bit of a discount. That can be worth doing as few insurance plans will cover the cost.


I used to have perfect teeth, not even a cavity. Then I developed some kind of problem and spent the next few years at the dentists nearly every month. At one point I had five crowns and a false tooth on a plate within a seven month period!

Now I am in a cycle of maintenance and repair and my dentist has given me advanced warning that at some point in the future I'm going to reach the end of the road on this.

I'm going to start saving for any future work, but I didn't dare ask about the outlay. Does anyone know how much teeth implants cost?


@anon5550 - I've never heard of hearing loss being a side effect of dental implant surgery. I did read about hearing aids being connected to a false tooth, a procedure which seems to increase the sound quality in such cases.


Is anyone familiar with cases of hearing loss related to teeth implants? Our hearing aid business has a client who thinks this happened.

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