ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dental Implants - Are They Right For me?

Updated on July 25, 2010

What are they?

Dental implants are, effectively, replacement tooth roots made from titanium. They are ‘screwed’ into the bone and provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth.

What are the advantages of having an implant instead of a simple bridge or a denture?

1. The fit of even the best denture will worsen with time, leading to looseness, embarrassment and irritation. To a degree, some people subconsciously compensate for this and aren’t immediately aware of the deterioration – but it’s true to say that dentures are never as good as your own teeth.

Conversely, implants fuse biologically with the bone; they become part of you and, if done well and looked after properly, they can last a lifetime.

2. Dental implants don't require other teeth to be reduced, as a bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth to clean them.

Are implants suitable for me?

You must have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. You must also be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you come into one of these categories and you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

The Procedure

Following a thorough assessment and treatment planning, the implant (a small titanium screw) is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. This is done under local anaesthesia and is painless. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process takes about 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the new tooth or teeth can be attached to it. To make your new tooth or teeth, we will take impressions (moulds) which we will send to the laboratory. There they will cast models from the impressions and make the replacement tooth or teeth. In most cases, the replacements will be individual crowns or bridges which will be permanently attached to the implant(s). Sometimes, if all or most of your teeth are missing, it will be better to place precision attachments on the implants to support and retain a removable denture.

The replacement tooth or teeth will be fitted at a subsequent appointment. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement will look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

Is it Painful?

The area is numbed with local anaesthetic so there should be no discomfort during the procedure. It will be sore for a day or so afterwards but this will be easily controlled with over-the-counter painkillers such as you might take for a headache. In fact, most patients report that the post-operative discomfort was a lot less than that following a tooth extraction.


Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Tom Nolan is a dentist with over 30 years’ experience.

If you found this article useful, you should check out his book

Watch Your Mouth – An Owner’s Manual.

Also available as a download. This book is packed with practical advice and will tell you everything you need to know to keep your mouth healthy, trouble-free and beautiful for the rest of your life.

You can get in touch via Tom's practice: The Dentist in Town.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jean Ramsey 

      9 years ago

      I had two implants 3 years ago and it was the best decision I have ever made. There was no pain. only a little discomfort afterwards as Tom's article suggests. I didn't want to consider having dentures as the thought of having a plate in my mouth did not appeal in the slightest! Would I have further implants if necessary - most definitely.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)