What Are Dental Implants? Full-Guide 2019

Learn what are dental implants and all the details about the treatment. Are they worth it? How much they cost? Do dental implants hurt? What benefits can I expect? Keep scrolling and learn it all!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium screws that work as replacement roots for your tooth. They act and look like a screw-like anchor to hold permanent replacement teeth that feel and function like your teeth.

The dental implant design is like the foundation of a natural tooth.

An implanted tooth has two main parts,

  1. The visible part is the crown, shows above your mouth gum line.
  2. The second part below the gum line is the root of the implant. It is securely anchored and hidden into the jawbone.

The hidden part is the dental implant is screw-shaped which replaces the function of a natural tooth's root and will bond to the bone.

There are many sizes and widths of dental implants available.

The anatomy of a dental implant model.
This is how the anatomy of dental implants look like.

It is almost impossible to recognize a natural tooth from an implanted tooth. The degree of perfection attained by the materials used for artificial crowns gives a natural look. The materials are E-max Zirconia.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Whether you need regular, zygomatic or mini dental implants, they are all made from titanium. There are some variations like Zirconia implants, but after many tests over the years, only titanium is approved, accepted, and the most frequently used material.

It is the same material often used for any orthopedic treatments like hip or knee replacements. It is a solid material with a low risk of rejection. It is fully compatible with body tissues.

Titanium has a porous texture that will allow the bone and implant to bond. It will give you a strong post in your bone that can hold on top a crown, a bridge or a full-arch bridge like a Zirconia bridge.

Despite the many designs tested during the last decade with unsuccessful results, the most effective one appears to be the anchoring system which shape is like a common carpentry screw.


Titanium is a metal that is capable of bonding into the bone without any problems due to a feature that other metals do not have. The implants give a solid foundation that will support the new crown that will go on top and replace the missing tooth.

Single Tooth Implant

The porous surface of the titanium screw will allow the bone cells to grow around and bond with the jawbone. Once the implant is bond with the bone, it will form a solid base. On top, any restoration can be locked, such as crowns, a hybrid bridge or a Prettau Zirconia bridge.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

They sure are, they have low rejection risk. The main purpose of a dental implant is to replace the root of a missing tooth and support crowns or a full-bridge on top like a Prettau bridge made of Zirconia.

Dental implants can last a lifetime. You need to learn and apply daily new oral hygiene habits. Proper oral hygiene is fundamental as well as checkups every six months for durability.

How Do Implants Work?

Let's compare placing a dental implant with the creation of a building. The structure that rises above the ground would be equal to the tooth's crown. The part that we do not see for being buried in the field, the foundations, would be similar to the dental implant. Without adequate foundations, the building could not support any structure on top.


The Foundation (The implants)

The single tooth implant structure works as any building foundation.

The image shows how a dental implant resembles the structure of a building.

The proper placement of a foundation requires a study of the terrain, which can be of different consistencies. Sometimes rocky or gritty. In the same manner, the bone in which the dental implant placement can have different densities.

Sometimes the bone is very dense, which is not favorable because it has a lower number of vital cells that are in charge of establishing the solid bone bridges. It could also happen that the bone density is very low and also has a small number of those essential vital cells. Determining the bone quality can usually be done with the help of a radiological study (such as a CT Scan) while taking into account factors such as age and sex. Based on this information we chose the type of implant, the design, and thickness.


The Ground (The bone)

What happens if we want to build a building in a particular area and there exists a fault in the terrain? We can create complicated inclined foundation systems so to avoid that area. But it would be more logical to level the ground out first. To produce a firm ground to build the foundations for a future building is the fundamental part of any structure.

With the single tooth implants placement, we face a similar problem. If there is a lack of bone in the correct position for the installation of an implant, we can fill it with bone graft, thus compensating for this loss. Briefly after, the restorative elements in the body will form a bone of similar or higher density than the surrounding bone. This way, the screw can be placed with high precision, in the right place and proper angle which is essential for a long-term duration.

We must consider that the placement of a reliable and effective foundation is crucial for supporting the building. If this fails, it all comes down, regardless of the building's beauty.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

How painful are dental implants? It is a painless and minimal surgery where we use local anesthesia. IV sedation is also available for the surgery.

After the surgery, the reactions will vary from patient to patient. You can expect the following,

  • Swelling during the first 2 or 3 days after the surgery
  • Mild pain can be felt during the first 48 hours too


We provide all prescriptions for pain killers, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.
If you use or need stronger painkillers such as Codeine, please bring your pills from home. In Mexico, Ketorolaco is the strongest painkiller a dental clinic can prescribe.

During the next three days after the surgery, we do not recommend heavy exercise or taking the sun directly. After those three days, you do any activity you want and enjoy your dental vacations in Cancun!

How Invasive Is The Surgery?

Maxillofacial surgeon placing zygomatic dental implants

We use the same safety and technology standards as the U.S.

The process of placing a tooth implant into the jawbone or maxilla is a simple surgery.
With great care, the Maxillofacial surgeon drills a hole in the bone for the setting. The tooth implant surgery is a minimal procedure that is usually painless for the patient. It is sometimes possible to place a definite tooth over the screw immediately. But, the most common method is to set a provisional tooth.

We can also do sinus lifts, bone grafts, and extractions during the same surgery session.

Once in place, the healing process begins and with it, the osseointegration of the implant.
Bone cells grow by establishing strong bridges with the metal. This process takes between one and four months.

The implant will be set into the ridge of the bone where you have better bone density. We always use surgical guides.

We follow the same sterilization procedures as any dental clinic in the United States. We use AUTOCLAVE to ensure your safety.

Dental Implants Problems

With a 95% success rate, dental implants are the most prosperous procedure in modern dentistry. However, every patient is different and on some occasions, problems may arise.


Common dental implants problems may include,

  • Infection. Which could happen if you smoke after the procedure and if you don't follow the doctor's instructions like taking the full round of antibiotics.
  • Implant breakage. It is quite unusual, especially if the proper implants brands and sizes are set. Also, the right number of screws are placed to provide adequate support, especially on the All On 4 treatment.
  • Failure by smoking. The heat, the Nicotine, and all the toxic substances inhibit the body’s natural healing process. Keep in mind that the dental implants success rate for heavy or regular smokers can even drop significantly from 95% to 70%.
  • Fibro-integration. In some rare occasions, a different tissue to bone grows around the titanium screw. It is known as fibro integration. It is painless, but it impedes the desired bone fusion. It has to be removed and placed again.
  • Defensive reaction. The modifications that metal ions produce in our proteins trigger a defensive reaction. Sometimes it may cause rejection of the metallic agent. If it happens the gums will begin to swell and you will begin to feel pain. Then the implant must be removed and allow time for the bone healing. When an implant fails, there are ways to restore it.


Our body is designed to reject all foreign elements that invade it, and we have several methods to detect them. When we detect the presence of proteins foreign to our organism, it will try to act on them fast. The process allows us to defend itself against bacteria and viruses although this mechanism is also responsible for the rejection of bone grafts.


What happens when a dental implant fails?

There is absolutely nothing warrantied in the medical field, but in the case of dental implants, there is a 5% chance of rejection of it.

If that is your case, then the implant will need to be removed. With proper placement, the titanium screw can remain in the mouth without discomfort for an indefinite period. Or at least, that is the primary goal.

Your daily habits and oral hygiene is a crucial factor in your dental implants healing process.

People who smoke, people with bad hygiene habits or people with chronic gum disease will have a higher risk of losing those implants after the placement. Implant failure means that once the screw is set, we need to wait for the natural body reaction and in some cases (5%) the dental implant is unable to fuse with your jawbone.

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

People with missing single or multiple teeth or people with numerous restorations with crowns or bridges can benefit from dental implants. People with full sets or partial dentures can also help from full mouth dental implants.

All on 4 treatment with Prettau Bridge Zirconia restorationWhen you lose a tooth, at first it just maybe just feel uncomfortable. However, missing a tooth can develop later bone problems. WHEN YOU MISS A TOOTH YOUR BONE WILL START TO RECEDE, it is a natural reaction from the body. Dental implants will help keep your bone health and will preserve the adjacent teeth integrity.

When you have your implant placed and rehabilitated, you restore a function of your bite while you regain your aesthetics.

Dental implants are artificial "roots." These are posts made of Titanium that will bond to the bone becomes a substitute for lost teeth. Once rehabilitated, dental implants will improve your bite functionality. You will restore your confidence and quality of life.


With dental implants restorations, you will improve your aesthetics and functionality.  They are the only long-lasting solution to restore a tooth or a full mouth.

Dental Implants Vs Bridge

Implant Bridge illustration

An implant bridge.

A conventional bridge requires to reduce the adjacent teeth's surface. It is the way a tooth-supported bridge works.

An implant bridge doesn't touch the nearby teeth. There will be no need to adapt them to support it. Leaving them intact is better to preserve the tooth's long-term integrity.

Single dental implants allow easier access between the teeth which improves oral hygiene. Titanium implants can be rooted within the jawbone to support a restoration.

The implant bridge will look and feel like a regular tooth. If you are missing more teeth and you need more implants, you might need the All-On-4.

What Are Mini Dental Implants?

System of how the Clip On Dentures work.

This is the way the mini implant holds the Snap in Denture in place.

Snap On Dentures Vs. Implant Dentures, How are they different? Both systems use different types of dental implants.

The All-On-4 requires regular size implants. The mini implants are for the Snap-On Dentures.

The Mini Dental Implants are helpful as temporary devices for oral rehabilitation. But, if we set from six to eight minis per arch, a Snap Denture can be placed on top. It is an excellent treatment for people with thin bone.

A denture adapted with O-Rings is designed to get retained to the mini implants. The Snap-On Dentures are tailored, palateless dentures that anchor or "snap" to the head of the mini dental implants placed into your bone.

What Is The Osseointegration Process?

After the placement of the implants, the Osseointegration begins.

It is a natural body process where the bone cells grow around the implant and bond to the bone. They will fuse together.

The implants are the foundation for mounting any restoration, from a full-arch Prettau bridge to a single crown on top of it.

The osseointegration will make the implant and the bone integrate with each other. They will give you a steady foundation and a secure anchorage in your bone.

The process and anatomy inside a human jawbone.

This is how the implant post works in the jawbone.

Metals in contact with body fluids capture oxygen. They oxidize and undergo a process of ionization. This oxidation causes the outermost atomic layer of the metal to suffer changes. These changes alter their junction with the next tier of atoms that are not oxidized. So, what happens is that they detach themselves and lead to the oxidation of the following molecules. Also, repeating the process of ionized metal release. These ions are unstable.

To restore stability, they bind to host proteins, creating a metal-protein complex that is mistakenly recognized by the body as an invading antigen. As any bacteria or a virus, it triggers the immune system to defend itself against it. Lymphocytes begin to multiply to fight against the supposed invader. Besides steel, the so-called "stainless-steel," which also oxidizes, contains 14% nickel, 18% chromium, 2% manganese, and 3% molybdenum — too many ions. Titanium does not do this. Its first layer of atoms oxidizes, but this does not alter its strong binding to the second layer of toms.

They remain stable in position. As a result, no ionized atom is detached, making it invisible to the biological defense systems.  Tissues such as bone repair their injuries without perceiving the aggressor, and they establish solid bridges with this hidden object. It is a fortunate fact as it allows us, humans, to use this metal for various medical purposes, one of them is dental implants. Thus, the term 'rejection' is erroneous, as the body cannot reject something it cannot detect.

How Much Are Dental Implants?

How much do dental implants cost in the United States?

It can be pricey and higher compared to the prices you find in Mexico. In cities such as Dallas or New York, a single tooth implant is priced up to 5,000 US per tooth!

Why spend so much money on your oral rehabilitation hen you can save thousands?


How much are dental implants in Mexico?
The tooth implant cost at our dental clinic in Cancun is 899 US. To view all our price list, please click here.

You can save up to 75% compared to the quote you got back home. We have specialized in the placement of solid bases to avoid future problems and in any case. We are confident in the quality, stability, and durability of the treatments we offer.

What Are The Steps For A Dental Implant Procedure?

The very first step is performing a full diagnosis. Our specialists will make a complete treatment plan aided by CAD/CAM x-rays. The 3D X-rays will show us the amount of available bone the patient has. We create surgical guides to place the implant where the patient has a better bone density and width.

After the dental implant is placed a healing process takes place. This process is called Osseointegration and it takes around four to six months. It is when the bone fuse with the titanium post. Once fused, it will provide a stable structure where we can place on top a restoration, from a single crown to a full-arch Zirconia Prettau Bridge.

The abutment helps to keep the porcelain crown secured to the dental implant. If you are only replacing one tooth, then the replaced top will be matched for the rest of your teeth. If you are planning to have full mouth dental implants, then the complete set of teeth can be designed any way you want it.

Dental implants, once rehabilitated, will look and feel like a natural tooth. Restore the quality of your life while you enjoy again the foods you like, especially when you get full mouth implants.

If you keep proper oral hygiene and you don't smoke, you can trust to be on the 95% success rate implants have.
You can have the dental implants place right after a surgical extraction too, during the same session.

  • A small titanium post is inserted into the missing tooth’s bone socket.
  • The jawbone will heal and grow around the implanted post which anchors it into your jaw securely.
  • After the surgery, the bone must bone to the titanium screw. The Osseointegration waiting time takes around four to six months.
  • Next, a connector post is attached and then the dentist will make impressions of your teeth and bite, and base the model of the new teeth on those.
  • A replacement tooth, or crown, is then attached to the implanted connector post.

Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?

People with healthy gums and good bone structure, volume and narrowness are good candidates for keeping the implants sturdy and in place.

Most people are good candidates for dental implants, as long as you have enough bone, and depending on the density. In case you lack some bone you can always use a bone graft or a sinus lift.

he success rate of this procedure is around 98%, and anyone healthy enough for a routine dental extraction can have this type of surgery.

The cases where each case will need evaluation prior to the surgery are,

  • Heavy smokers
  • People that have gone through radiation therapy to the head or neck area
  • People suffering from chronic diseases
  • People with heart disease and diabetes


To be sure, take a panoramic X-ray back home and send it to us. We will send a free pre-diagnosis. Plan your dental vacations to Cancun!

Dental Implants Aftercare

Wash your mouth with waterpickWith proper care, dental implants are meant to last a lifetime.


After dental implants, your daily oral habits must improve,

  • You will need to brush three times a day.
  • You will need to floss and water floss, with devices such as a Waterpik
  • You need a checkup with the dentist every six months.

Dental implants should be treated and cleaned as they were your natural teeth. They need the same care as real teeth.

The aftercare of your dental implants is your sole responsibility.

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