How Dental Implants Work?

Tooth loss is one of the most common dental issues faced by adults in America. Dental implants are a long-lasting, natural-looking solution to this issue.

The professionals at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond are committed to helping patients achieve a beautiful smile and long-lasting oral health with a variety of dental services including tooth replacement options.

In this article, we will explain how dental implants work from the initial placement to the integration with the surrounding jawbone.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an effective option for replacing missing teeth. This device consists of three pieces: implant screw, abutment, and crown. The implant screw is surgically placed into the jawbone and the abutment secures the crown to the screw.

Over time, the jawbone will heal around and fuse with the implant through a process known as osseointegration.

Dental Implant Procedure

The dental implant procedure is a multi-step process that requires careful planning, surgical intervention, and the creation of a customized prosthesis. Here’s how dental implants work:

Initial Consultation/Assessment

The first step in any procedure at Glow Up Dentistry is to schedule a consultation with the dental team. During this visit, the team will assess the patient’s oral health, discuss the patient’s medical and dental history, and take x-rays and other necessary imaging.

The primary factors considered in this assessment include bone density, gum health, and the number/location of missing teeth. This will determine if the patient is a candidate for dental implants.

Treatment Planning

The dental team will use the information obtained in the initial consultation/assessment to create a customized treatment plan. This will include the number of implants needed, the optimal placement, and the type of prosthesis that will be attached.

Implant Placement

Implant placement requires a surgical procedure. The dentist will start by administering anesthesia. An incision will be made in the gum tissue and a small hole will be drilled in the jawbone. The implant screw, usually made of titanium, will then be placed in that space. In some cases, a temporary crown will be attached to the implant screw. If not, the incision will be stitched closed, covering the implant screw.


In the weeks or months following implant placement, osseointegration will take place. This is the process in which the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant screw, securing it in place. This is critical for the stability and success of the implant procedure.

Abutment Placement

Once the process of osseointegration is complete, the abutment can be attached to the implant screw. The abutment is the connector that protrudes through the gum and secures the crown in place.

In some cases, this is done at the same time as the initial placement. If not, another minor surgery will be required. An incision will be made in the gum to expose the implant screw and the abutment will be attached to the implant screw.

Impressions and Customization

Oral hygiene including proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can impact the stability of the bridge.

Final Restoration

The final step is to attach the custom prosthesis to the abutment. Before securing it, the dentist will ensure a proper fit and examine the appearance and functionality of the restoration. The patient will be given care instructions for maintaining proper oral hygiene and regular follow-up appointments to ensure the long-term success of the implants.

The team at Glow Up Dentistry believes that patient education and communication are critical to this process. We work closely with patients to address any questions/concerns to ensure the most successful outcome.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options, including:


Dental implants are a long-term solution. In fact, with proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Natural Appearance

The prosthesis is designed to closely resemble natural teeth, improving the overall appearance of the patient’s smile and confidence.

Improved Functionality

Dental implants provide stability and function similar to natural teeth, unlike removable dentures. This allows confidence when eating and speaking.

Preservation of Bone Structure

One of the side effects of tooth loss is jawbone deterioration. Dental implants can prevent this deterioration, maintaining facial aesthetics.

Considerations and Limitations

While dental implants offer significant advantages, it’s important to note that not everyone is a candidate for the procedure. Factors including oral and overall health, bone density, and the presence of certain medical conditions can have an impact on eligibility.

In addition, it’s important to note that many times, dental implants are more expensive than other options, which can be a barrier for some. However, many dental insurance providers will cover a portion of the procedure. Our office staff will work with yours to determine coverage. If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover treatment, we can explain our financing options.

Do You Need Dental Implants?

Tooth loss can cause a variety of oral and overall health complications. Dental implants are an effective solution for these issues. However, it’s important to understand that the process can take several months to a year or more to complete. Still, for patients at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond, this is a viable solution to restore the appearance and functionality of their smile.

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