What is a dental implant?

Updated: Feb 6

An dental implant is a tooth root replacement, which is placed in the jawbone during a small surgical procedure. This is often done under local anaesthesia. Most implants look like screws and are made of titanium, zirconium or a combination of these materials. The dental implant is a strong basis for an implant crown, implant bridge or artificial (click) dentures.


When do you need an implant?

When you are missing a tooth or molar, or when several teeth are missing in your mouth, implantology can be a suitable treatment. When a single element is missing, usually one implant will be placed. After a so-called 'bone ingrowth period' a crown is placed on top of it, an implant crown.


When several teeth are missing next to each other, implantology can be used to anchor a removable snap frame. But it is also possible to have several implants, on which an implant bridge is placed. This bridge is fixed in your mouth and functions just like an implant crown.


If you have dentures and there is little grip in your jaw causing the dentures to loosen while chewing, 2, 4 or 6 implants can be placed. Afterwards a complete denture is made which clicks onto the implants. Just like a click frame, a click denture is removable, so that you can clean it every day.


Dental implant treatment

Prior to the placement of dental implants a comprehensive dental examination should take place by the implantologist. The medical and dental health of an implantologist influences the success of the treatment. In such a preliminary examination the bone quality and bone quantity will be assessed, among other things, by means of visual inspection and supplementary X-ray examination. This is done after the tooth or molar has been extracted, but preferably when the tooth or molar is still present.


In exceptional cases, an implant can be placed directly after the tooth root has been extracted. Often a tooth is pulled first and bone healing is waited for 8-12 weeks before the implant is placed. If a tooth or molar has been missing for a long time, there may not be enough jawbone present to anchor/place an implant. Usually, new bone can be placed with an extra treatment. This can be artificial bone or your own bone, for example from your iliac crest or elsewhere in your jaw. After 4-12 months, depending on the situation and healing, the implant can be placed.


During the treatment, the implant is inserted into the jawbone under local anaesthesia. In the following 2-6 months, the jawbone will attach itself to the implant. After that, the crown, bridge or click-on dentures can be made.


An implant is placed in 1 or 2 phases. In 1 phase, the healing abutment is visible above the gums. In the 2 phase, the implant is placed and the gums are placed over the implant again. When the implant has grown in, a small incision is made in the gums and then the healing abutment is placed.


Dental implant treatment request

You can ask your dentist in League City about all the possibilities concerning the placement of dental implants. We will be happy to help you make the right plan for your personal situation.

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