Last fact-checked: 10 February 2020
If you are looking for a permanent, natural-looking way of replacing missing teeth then dental implants may be right for you.
A dental implant is a metal post, usually made from titanium, that is surgically inserted into your jawbone beneath the gum and acts as an artificial root. The implant is threaded to allow an abutment to be screwed into it. Once in place, your dentist can then mount a crown (replacement tooth) securely onto the fitting to provide an identical match to the rest of your natural teeth. In some cases, multiple implants and crowns may be required.
Simply having missing teeth is not necessarily reason enough to have dental implants. Alternatives, such as dentures, might be more appropriate. During your initial examination, your dentist will consider:
To ensure a successful outcome with implants, the condition of your mouth needs to provide a stable working environment. Any broken teeth, gum disease or dental decay will need to be remedied first before dental implants can be inserted.
Your dentist will assess your bone volume and density to ascertain whether the existing bone in your jaw can support dental implants. This process usually involves x-raying the jawbone or, in some instances, undergoing a cone beam CT scan (not scary, this is simply a specialized x-ray that provides more detailed information on your jawbone and precise placement of implants).
Your personal dental hygiene regime might also affect your suitability for a dental implants procedure. You need to be committed to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, as a healthy mouth is essential to successful treatment.
Your general health can also impact whether you can be considered for dental implants. Medical and lifestyle variables, such as diabetes and smoking, might affect your suitability. Each case is different; your dentist will discuss these considerations with you in greater detail.
There are three stages in the dental implants process:
The fitting of the implant is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. Your dentist will make a small incision into your gum, then painlessly insert the implant into your jawbone.
If you’ve had any teeth extracted prior to the surgery, it may be possible for your dentist to fit the implant directly into the existing tooth socket. However, before having the abutment attached, patients generally need to allow around three to six months for the bone to fully adhere to the implant – a process called osseointegration.
The abutment – a small post onto which a crown can be fitted – screws directly into the dental implant that was inserted into your jawbone.
Once the abutment is in place, attaching the crown is a straightforward process, usually carried out during the abutment fitting.
During your first visit, and once the effects of the anesthetic have worn off, you will be allowed to go home. It can take several hours for feeling to fully return to your mouth, and you may require pain relief to counteract discomfort. Avoid any hot food or drinks until feeling has fully returned, and eat only soft foods the first few days following your dental implants procedure.
You may be given antibiotics or an antiseptic mouthwash, along with special brushes to help clean the gaps between your teeth. During this period (and always), you will want to maintain good oral hygiene to avoid any potential infection.
Once you have fully recovered, your replacement teeth and dental implants and replacement teeth should work exactly the same as your natural teeth. And you've got your smile back!
If you're not already in the habit, brush and floss twice daily and make regular visits to your dentist or hygienist to ensure that your new teeth remain healthy.
Dental Departures has compiled comprehensive listings of quality-checked dentists and clinics from all over the world. We carry out background checks to ensure that professional memberships and qualifications are legitimate. Site visits are undertaken and patient reviews are conducted to guarantee that facilities and services are of the highest standard. In fact, many of our dentists are members of globally-recognized organizations such as the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, so you are assured the standard of care you receive meets the same high standards that your dentist practices at home.
Prices vary greatly from country to country, so it’s possible to enjoy substantial savings by comparing your hometown fees to the costs for the same treatment in other countries:
At Dental Departures, you can choose from thousands of clinics and implantologists around the world who deliver top-quality dental implants at a fraction of the price that you would pay at home.
Dental tourism is an expanding industry across the globe, and increasing numbers of international patients are discovering the world-class facilities and treatments readily available in countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand and Bali.
Our website contains all the information you need to research top clinic locations and start comparing dental implant quotes. We host a Best Price Guarantee to ensure that you get an unbeatable deal, and we also enjoy close affiliations with several independent insurance providers who can provide medical insurance for extra peace of mind.
If you have any queries, our Customer Care Team is always happy to answer your questions via our online chat facility, by e-mail or on our toll-free telephone number. Or if you're ready to book, you can schedule your appointment right here any time of the day or night at no charge to you.
Dental Implants: An Option for Replacing Missing Teeth. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_47.pdf?la=en
Wong, Natalie, DDS, FAAID, DABOI/ID, Cert Prostho, FRCD(C). Implants FAQ American Academy of Implant Dentistry. https://www.aaid-implant.org/faqs/" target="_blank
Raghavendra, S. Jayesh and Dhinakarsamy, V, "Osseointegration", Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences, April 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439679/
International Congress of Oral Implantologists. http://www.icoi.org/