How do dental implants work? Lake Pointe Dental Group - portrait of woman pointing to her perfect smile

How Do Dental Implants Work?

How Do Dental Implants Work?

If you’re considering dental implants, you might wonder how they work. Dental implants are a type of tooth replacement that involves placing artificial roots into the jawbone. These roots then fuse with the bone, providing a solid foundation for artificial teeth.

Dental implants may work for you if you:

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Don’t smoke tobacco
  • Possess healthy oral tissues
  • Are unable to wear dentures
  • Have a fully grown jawbone
  • Want to improve your speech
  • Don’t have health conditions that can disrupt bone healing
  • Have adequate jawbone to secure implants or able to undergo a bone graft

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a permanent dental solution available to individuals who have lost one or more teeth due to dental trauma, age, or other factors. The dental implant replaces the natural tooth root, allowing a crown, bridge, denture, or dental appliance to attach securely.

This innovative dental procedure typically involves surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone and allowing it to fully integrate with its surrounding bone structure for improved stability and strength. With proper care and regular dental visits for maintenance, dental implants can last for many years and make an aesthetically pleasing addition to your smile.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Although the dental implant procedure may seem complex, it has continuously improved over the years. You can generally expect the following steps to occur when receiving dental implants:

  • Consultation
  • Jawbone preparation (if needed)
  • Dental implant placement
  • Bone growth and healing
  • Abutment placement
  • Artificial tooth (crown) placement


The dental implant procedure starts with a consultation between you and your dentist to evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure. During the initial consultation, your dentist also performs a comprehensive medical history to ensure success. Then, they customize a treatment plan according to your needs and refer you to an experienced oral surgeon.

Jawbone Preparation

Your oral surgeon will perform a bone graft if your jawbone isn’t thick enough or too soft to support an implant. During a bone graft, the surgeon places healthy tissue in the intended implant location. Once your jawbone heals and grows with the new tissue, you’ll have a strong foundation for the implant.

Dental Implant Placement

In the next step of the process, your oral surgeon inserts a titanium screw into your jawbone that will act as an anchor for your prosthetic tooth. They do so by opening your gum to expose the bone, drilling a hole, and placing the “root” into the designated space.

Bone Growth and Healing

Following the implant placement, you will likely have to wait for your jawbone to heal. The goal is to ensure that your jawbone fuses successfully with the titanium screw, which can take 12 weeks or longer. However, each case differs, so your surgeon can give you an accurate timeline according to your situation.

Placing the Abutment

The abutment is the piece where the prosthetic tooth (crown) attaches. Sometimes, oral surgeons place the abutment during the same procedure as the titanium screw. However, this piece points upward into the mouth, causing discomfort, so many patients prefer a separate procedure to place the abutment once their jawbone heals.

Crown Placement

Placing the dental crown over the implant is a delicate but essential procedure for successful surgery. Your dentist takes impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to create a crown that fits snugly and blends seamlessly with the surrounding structures.

It’s important to note that your dentist can’t place the crown until your jawbone is fully healed and strong enough to support all implant components. Next, your dentist attaches the prosthetic tooth using unique materials and techniques – such as cement – to ensure it remains firm.

How Dental Implants Work

Once you receive dental implants, you’ll enjoy numerous benefits, such as the following:

  • Restores your ability to chew
  • Restores cosmetic appearance
  • Helps keep nearby teeth stable
  • Improves your quality of life
  • Helps keep your jawbone from shrinking due to bone loss
  • Preserves the health of your surrounding bone and gums

Because they look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants blend perfectly into your smile and reduce further damage to other areas. Additionally, they directly connect to your jawbone and stimulate it as you chew and talk, similar to natural teeth. As a result, they promote better health for the surrounding tissue and prevent additional bone loss. It’s no surprise why so many people are now opting for dental implants as their preferred choice for tooth replacement!

Caring for Dental Implants

Taking proper care of your dental implants is essential to preserving the health of your smile. As with natural teeth, brushing at least twice a day and regularly flossing helps maintain oral hygiene and protects your implants from food particles, bacteria, and tartar buildup.

Ensure you visit your dentist for regular cleanings so plaque doesn’t accumulate around the abutments. Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice cubes and other hard candy, as it can damage your implant’s surface.

Further, don’t smoke or excessively use alcohol, for doing so can lead to implant failure. These simple steps ensure you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come!

Schedule Your Appointment for Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great way to improve your smile and confidence. The procedure is simple, quick, and relatively painless. They also offer numerous benefits, such as restoring your ability to chew and improving your quality of life. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

We take pride in our far-reaching dental services at Lake Pointe Dental Group in O’Fallon, IL. Our team is here to ensure you love your smile! If you’re curious about how dental implants could work, schedule an appointment with us today!

tooth loss

What Causes Tooth Loss in Adults?

For a young child, the sudden loss of a tooth means the tooth fairy will visit and leave goodies behind! Tooth loss—a cause for celebration as a child—feels far different when you’re an adult.

At best, losing a tooth means a trip to the dentist, and necessary interventions to set things right. At worst, losing a tooth may permanently affect your appearance, resulting in a loss of self esteem.

So, what can you do to protect your own smile? Here are some of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults and ways to address them. Lake Pointe Dental Group can help you protect your smile!

Gum Disease

One of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. No matter what your age, healthy gums are an essential part of dental care, and neglecting those vital structures may have devastating consequences.

The reason gums are so vital is easy to understand: your gums hold your teeth in place. If those gums are compromised by advanced disease, your teeth can loosen and eventually fall out. Dr. Harold Bean and Dr. Richard Greiff provide regular, thorough examinations at Lake Pointe Dental Group in O’Fallon, Illinois. Gum disease is relatively easy to treat in its early stages, but the longer you wait the more your teeth will be at risk. The team at Lake Pointe Dental provides cleanings, can offer advice on the best toothpastes to use in each individual case, and refer to a periodontist for specialized treatment. The sooner you schedule an appointment with Lake Pointe Dental Group, the sooner you start protecting your precious smile.

Sports Injuries

Not all tooth loss is related to poor oral hygiene or undetected gum disease. Sports injuries can also take a toll on your smile.

If you play sports, especially contact sports, you need to protect your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard is a good place to start, and there are other sport-specific dental appliances you can use as well. If you do lose a tooth playing football, hockey, or another favorite sport, prompt dental attention could restore your smile and help prevent further damage. Having a tooth knocked out is an urgent situation; your first call should be to Dr. Bean and Dr. Greiff in O’Fallon.

Unattended Cavities

In many cases, intense pain will signal you have a cavity in your mouth. When you take a drink or try to eat, the exposed nerve lets you know something is wrong. In other cases, a cavity may not be so obvious.

Sometimes cavities do not create toothache pain; that makes a problem easy to miss. Undetected or untreated cavities can lead to tooth loss. Dr. Bean, Dr. Greiff, and the Lake Pointe Dental team of hygienists detect cavities at the earliest stages when treatment is simple. It is important to see a dentist twice a year.

Do yourself and your smile a favor; schedule your next examination today. In many cases, prompt action can prevent the loss of a tooth. Even if the tooth is too far gone, you can restore your smile with dental implants.

Contact Lake Pointe Dental Group

Knowing what causes tooth loss in adults is key to maintaining good oral health and your appearance. Lake Pointe Dental Group schedules emergency exams, comprehensive exams and cleanings, and regular appointments.

If your smile has already been compromised by a prior tooth loss, Dr. Bean and Dr. Greiff will develop a treatment plan to help you recover. It is never too early or too late for quality family dental care. Request an appointment at Lake Pointe Dental Group!