A dental implant replaces an entire missing tooth that has been lost due to severe tooth decay, trauma or periodontal disease. It is advisable to replace a missing tooth from an aesthetic and health point of view.

A dental implant (artificial tooth root) is a popular option for tooth replacement after tooth loss or extraction. The implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone, mirror the shape of the screw and fuse with the natural bone. They create a base to support dental crowns (artificial teeth).

An abutment (support tooth) is placed between the implant and the crown to hold all the parts together. Abutments also connect crowns to dental bridges, removable dentures, and partial dentures. Dental implants have been successful dental replacements for more than 50 years.

Structure of dental implants

The body of the dental implant consists of three parts that perform different functions:

  • The implant (or screw) serves as an artificial tooth root.
  • The abutment is the connecting pin between the screw of the implant and the crown.
  • A crown is a “false” tooth that rests on top of an abutment. The crowns are made of porcelain, which is a tooth-colored material that matches natural teeth in shape and appearance.

Techniques and materials of dental implants

Dental implants come in two different forms:

Endosteal implant

An endosteal implant (root implant) is the most common type of implant today. It is made of titanium, small screws and an alloplastic material, which refers to an artificial tissue graft. Endosteal implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Over time, they merge with the natural bone.

Subperiosteal implant

Subperiosteal implants are rare. However, they may be a better choice for patients who do not have enough natural jawbone to support endosteal implants.

A subperiosteal implant is placed under the gum (on or above the jawbone). It is not surgically inserted into the jawbone.

Types of dental implants

Depending on the needs, several different types of dental implants are available:

Implant for one tooth

This dental implant is ideal when one tooth is missing and  needs to be replaced for aesthetics, comfort, and functionality.

Individual implants require a single dental crown that attaches to the implant screw.

Implant-supported bridge

Implant-supported bridges are ideal for people with several missing teeth. The implant is an anchor for the bridge (instead of a natural tooth).

A fixed dental bridge restores function and prevents other teeth from moving. It also improves eating and speech functions.

All-on-4 dental implants

All-on-4 implants are recommended when a patient seeks a safe solution for many missing teeth. This solution restores the entire upper or lower jaw (or both arches).

It is a permanent renewal. However, the temporary denture can be removed for cleaning and a dental examination.

Dental implants three on six

An alternative to implant dentures is the three by six implant. It consists of three separate dental bridges attached to six dental implants.

Causes of missing teeth

Many causes of tooth loss may indicate the need for a dental implant. The most common causes of missing teeth include:

Tooth decay

The leading cause of tooth decay or cavities is poor nutrition and insufficient care of the oral cavity. In addition, without restorative treatment, the cavitated tooth will continue to deteriorate, which can lead to tooth loss.

Regular visits to the dentist and cleaning (every six months) are essential to catch early signs of decay. Dental implants may be necessary if the decay is severe, especially in older adults (65+).

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease.

As the gums wear down, plaque and cavity-causing bacteria can get under the gums and cause inflammation. It eventually leads to bone loss around the jaw and teeth. As a result, teeth can become loose, fall out, or need to be extracted.

Age and medications

Many implant patients have healthy teeth or develop only minor cavities during their lifetime. However, after the age of 55, tooth loss is more common.

Those who take medication for high cholesterol, heart disease, or high blood pressure are at even greater risk of tooth loss. Long-term use of medicines causes dryness in the mouth, which accelerates the process of tooth decay.

Accidental trauma

A car accident, injury, or fall can damage teeth or cause tooth loss. When it is impossible to return the tooth to its natural shape and function, a dental implant is needed.

Advantages and disadvantages of dental implants

Are dental implants right for you? Compare the pros and cons below:

Advantages of implants

  • Implants work like your teeth, allowing you to chew and speak normally.
  • They are designed to look like natural teeth, improving self-confidence.
  • They reduce stress and wear on the remaining natural teeth by providing independent support.
  • Preservation of bones, reduction of signs of aging.
  • They help prevent loss of jaw height.
  • Easy cleaning and care.
  • With proper care, implants can last 15 to 25 years. They also usually last longer than dental bridges and dentures.


Disadvantages of implants

  • Dental implants do not whiten when bleached like natural teeth.
  • They require invasive surgery for placement.
  • They are expensive (but the long-term benefits are usually worth it).
  • There is always a fracture risk (but it is low).
  • If insufficient natural bone is left, bone preparation may be necessary before placement.

The procedure for inserting a dental implant

Endosteal implants are a type of ambulatory surgery. Patients can go home the same day after surgery. However, the process can take several months, especially during healing and before the artificial tooth (crown) is placed. Dental implant procedures are divided into several steps depending on the number of implants the patient needs:

Step 1 — Tooth extraction

If the damaged tooth is still in the mouth, the dentist will remove it. This step is optional if the tooth is already missing.

Step 2 — Grafting and preparation of the jawbone

Many patients who undergo implant surgery have thin or soft jawbones.

Bone grafting, which improves the amount of bone, ensures that the procedure does not fail. Options include a synthetic bone graft, such as a bone graft, or a natural graft, which means the bone is taken from another area of the patient’s body.

The bone graft healing process takes several months before a dental implant can be placed. Fortunately, grafts are not always necessary.

Step 3 – Placement of the implant

The surgeon exposes the bone during the procedure by cutting the gums.

An oral surgeon or periodontist drills holes into the bone. He then places the implant (post) deep into the bone, which acts as the tooth’s root.

If a front tooth is restored, the dentist will fill the space with a temporary removable solution. At the same time, the implant under the gum heals. If it’s a back tooth, they don’t put anything on it.

Step 4 — Healing and Growth

Osseointegration begins after placing the metal implant in the jawbone.

It is when the supporting bone begins to connect with the implant. This process can take several months and ensures the base is strong enough to support the artificial tooth (dental crown).

Step 5 – Abutment placement (crown preparation)

After healing, the dentist will place an abutment on top of the implant.

The abutment extends the implant over the soft tissue (gum). This step allows for easy placement of the dental crown.

Step 6 – Placing the crown (artificial tooth)

The dentist will take new impressions once the implant has grown into the bone and is strong enough to support chewing.

Then the dental technician creates a custom dental crown in the laboratory. An artificial dental crown looks similar to natural teeth. The crown is placed on the support (connector) and becomes the only visible part of the implant.

Step 7 – Aftercare

Painkillers and antibiotics are usually prescribed after surgery. Eating only soft foods and practicing good oral care habits during healing are also important. Limiting alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco intake is also essential for best results.

During the first months after the end of the implantation, regular checks are necessary.

Risk factors of dental implants

Most implant procedures are successful,although implants fail or heal improperly in rare cases. For example, smoking increases the risk of failure. The reasonable care must be taken at home, including proper nutrition, brushing, and flossing to reduce the risk.

As with any dental surgery, minor discomfort is normal.

Common conditions (that do not threaten the implant) include:

  • Swelling of the gums and face
  • Bruises on the skin or gums
  • Slight bleeding
  • Pain at the site of implant insertion

After surgery, the patient will likely feel less pain, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce discomfort. The pain should subside after about a week. However, the implant can take up to six months to fully heal.

Are dental implants safe?

Implant dentistry has been practiced for more than 50 years.

Dental implants represent a safe and successful dental replacement treatment option when done correctly. Most people who get implants do not experience any problems, and the procedures have a high success rate.

How long do dental implants last?

If you take care of your replacement teeth and follow proper oral hygiene, they can last 15 to 25 years, sometimes longer. Some people have their implants replaced earlier for cosmetic reasons.

How common is dental implant failure?

It is estimated that about 5 to 10 percent of dental implants fail. 

The most common reason for failure is unsuccessful osseointegration (meaning the implant did not fuse properly with the jawbone).

Allergic reactions, tissue damage, infections, sinus problems, smoking, and implant rejection can also cause implant failure.

Important information:

We will be happy to help you and offer a solution to your problem or your dream idea!

Each client is unique and has an individual situation in the field of health or aesthetics (appearance). For this reason, after consulting about his problems and needs, our specialists will propose the most suitable solution – the type of procedure or treatment and the time schedule, in case it is necessary to undergo the procedure or treatment more than once.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us on phone number 00421 905 928 302, via the contact form or at the email address info@aladiva.sk.