How Dental Implants Work

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How Dental
Implants Work

Dental implants are changing the way people live! Let our experienced, knowledgeable Boston implant dentists help you rediscover the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life. We want you to smile with confidence.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a replacement for missing teeth. It has a root and a crown just like a natural tooth. If you think of your tooth root as an anchor that holds your tooth in place, implants are no different. When the dental implants are positioned in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone. The implanted screws become a stable foundation for as many new teeth as you need.

The dentist places a connector called an abutment on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crown. The dentist then places the crown, or the tooth, on top of the abutment.

The dental community has been using modern implants successfully for over 30 years, but dental implants have been around for over 4000 years. They are the most durable devices available to support replacement teeth. They also look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

When performed by a trained and experienced dentist or periodontist, dental implant surgery is a safe and predictable procedure.

Why Choose Us

We are a group of award-winning dentists that covers a full range of specialties.

Our dynamic team approach guarantees you the very best care we have to offer.

We are all committed to excellence and exceeding the expectations of our patients.

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I continue to tell my friends and colleagues to ditch their current dentist and go to DPB. They are fast, friendly and are the model for service. I love them. And my teeth? My teeth may love them more than I do.

Janet E.
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Who Do Dental Implants Benefit?

Dental implants can be a smart choice for adults of all ages, whether you never developed a tooth or had teeth removed due to injury, infection, or decay. Young adults can also benefit once the facial bone structure has stopped growing and developing. Generally, this occurs around 18-21 years old.

The benefits of teeth implants go beyond aesthetics—they can also help prevent bone deterioration and preserve your facial structure. And the professional team at Dental Partners of Boston makes the dental implant process easy. We lead the Boston, MA, area in dental implant experience and continually work with the top implant providers to offer you the latest technology and techniques. We guide you through each step of the implant process, from placing the dental implant to restoring the final tooth.

The Advantages

Here are four significant benefits of dental implants, compared to alternatives such as dentures and bridges:

  • You’ll look and feel great. Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth.
  • They’re so comfortable you don’t have to think about them.
  • You brush and floss them just like your natural teeth—no need to remove them for cleaning.
  • They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.

They’re built to last. When dental implants are properly cared for, they can last for decades or a lifetime. Many other options, including certain types of dental bridges and dentures, may need to be replaced as often as every 5 to 10 years, requiring a more significant investment of time and money.

You can live life with confidence. Your dental implants will be secure, so they won’t slip or click when you talk, eat or laugh. You’ll also find that your speech is more natural. With dental implants, you’ll have the peace of mind to eat what you love, say what you want to say, be as active as you want, and smile broadly and confidently.

They protect facial bones and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to health issues such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that helps stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss. Getting dental implants as soon as possible after losing a tooth helps prevent bone loss at the site. Also, dental implants don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth to anchor bridges or attach partial dentures.

A healthy smile can be a great asset.
A smile also has other day-to-day benefits.

What to Expect

Dental implant placement usually involves the following steps:

Initial consultation: Your implant dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, including taking X-rays or 3D images, discuss the various implant options and develop a plan for your implant surgery.

Dental implant placement

At your next scheduled appointment, your implant dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone where your tooth is missing. Although each patient’s experience is unique, most people find they experience less pain and discomfort than they expect, and typically return to work the next day. Local anesthesia or IV sedation can be used to keep you comfortable, depending on the procedure. Post-implant surgery discomfort is similar to that of any other dental surgery. It may include swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, and pain. Most patients manage pain with over-the-counter medications.


As you heal, your implant and jawbone will grow together, forming a robust and long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. During this healing process, which can take up to a few months, you go on with your normal life. You will be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks to make sure your implants heal properly. In some cases, your implant dentist may also be able to place temporary teeth during this period, if you choose.

Abutment placement

Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, your dentist places a small connector called an abutment on the dental implant just above the gum line. In some cases, the dentist can place the abutment at the same time as the implant.

Custom-make and attach new teeth

After your gums heal, your dental implant dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth, which can be an individual crown, implant-supported bridge, or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth, are attached to the abutment.

Periodic checkups

Although they don’t decay, your new teeth will need the same routine care, checkups, and cleanings as your natural teeth. Depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive, the entire process can take three to nine months. After your dental implant placement is finished, you’ll visit your dental implant dentist periodically for follow-up checkups, just as you do your regular dentist.

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    Types of Implants & Techniques

    There are two main types of implants.

    Endosteal: These dental implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically made of titanium and shaped like small screws, they are the most common type of dental implant.

    Subperiosteal: These dental implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. The dentist may use this type of implant with patients who do not have enough healthy jawbones and cannot, or do not want to, undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it.

    Dental implants come in different sizes, heights, and types. Our dental implant experts can help you determine which option is best for you, depending on your particular needs.

    Bone Grafts

    If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, several techniques can be used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jawline and provide a sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth. These include:

    Bone augmentation: This involves restoring or regenerating bone in your jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise. Research shows that using bone additives and growth factors to fortify the bone generally achieves the best results.

    Sinus lift: Also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation, this involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where the natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.

    Ridge expansion: If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, your dentist can add bone graft material to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of your jaw.

    Schedule an Appointment Now

    Find out why patients from all over Boston come to Dental Partners of Boston for their dental implants. Contact our Boston dentist’s office today.


    All our dentists have been listed as a Top Dentist in Boston Magazine seven years in a row!

    Every year a carefully curated list is published with the best dentists in Boston, including general dentists and specialists like us in periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and more. We’re honored to serve our patients together with an exceptional standard of care. Thank you!

    Top Dentists 2017 Awarded by Boston Magazine
    Top Dentists 2018 Awarded by Boston Magazine
    2019 Boston Top Dentist
    2020 Boston Top Dentists
    2021 Boston Top Dentists

    Procedure Doctors

    Dr. Sergio Guzman Periodontist Boston
    Sergio A. Guzman
    D.M.D., M.S.D.
    Carolina Mujica
    D.M.D., C.A.G.S.
    Dr. Divya Bhargava Restorative Dentistry Boston
    Divya Bhargava
    D.M.D., C.A.G.S.
    Dr. Michael Otoole Prosthodontist Boston
    Michael G. O’Toole
    D.M.D., M.M.Sc.
    Dr. Kumiko Kamachi Prosthodontist Boston
    Kumiko Kamachi
    D.M.D., C.A.G.S.
    Dr. Sarah Kim Prosthodontist Boston
    Sarah S. Kim
    D.M.D., M.S.
    Yuko Otsubo
    D.M.D., B.D.S., M.S.D.