A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a missing natural tooth or root. It lets you chew food comfortably, may improve your speech and facial appearance and offers more comfort and stability than dentures. For this reason, dentists may suggest implants as an alternative to dentures or bridges.
Implants are manufactured “anchors” that resemble cylinders or screws. Used in upper and lower jaws, they are surgically inserted into the jawbone to become a stable base for artificial replacement teeth.
The implant itself acts as the root of the tooth. The structure placed over the implant will look and perform like the natural tooth that was lost.
Dentists typically give specific instructions on how to care for dental implants. You must follow these instructions carefully.
Having good general health, healthy gums and sufficient bone structure makes you a good candidate for implants. Depending on the location in the mouth, implants are usually between 85% and 90% successful.
Implants may be less successful for people who smoke, grind or clench their teeth or have a history of radiation therapy. Patients with diabetes or osteoporosis who have bone loss in the jaw may also be at risk for complications. Check with your dentist to see if implants are the right choice for you.
When implants fail, it is usually because of:
Implants are typically more expensive than bridges, but they more closely simulate the appearance and function of natural teeth.
If you have a Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plan: Before you begin implant treatment, ask your dentist to obtain a pre-treatment estimate. This free service ensures that you know up front how much, if anything, your dental plan will pay and how much you’ll be responsible for.
If you have a DeltaCare® USA plan: Please check your plan’s booklet to determine if implant treatment is a covered benefit under your DeltaCare USA plan.
Last updated July 21, 2021
The oral health information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.