The Components of a Dental Implant: What You Need to Know

The Components of a Dental Implant: What You Need to Know By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | January 20, 2023

We all want beautiful smiles, which is why dental implants are slowly becoming one of the most popular options for those looking to replace missing teeth. But what are dental implants, and how do they work?

In this blog post, we’ll break down the different components of a dental implant so you can understand how they work. From the different parts of a dental implant to their longevity and cost, keep reading and learn all about dental implants today!

Summary of the Article

  • A dental implant is a dental prosthesis that functions and looks just like natural teeth.
  • Dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth using a metal post.
  • Dental implants are a three-piece system composed of the implant post, the abutment, and the dental prosthetic.
  • An implant post is a prosthetic screw embedded into the jawbone. It is usually made from titanium or zirconia.
  • An abutment connects the implant and the dental prosthetic.
  • The dental prosthetic is the false tooth. It could either be a crown, bridge, or denture.
  • Dental implant placement requires oral surgery and a long recovery period. Because of this, treatment duration is significantly longer compared to other tooth replacement options. 

What Is a Dental Implant and How Does It Work?

A dental implant is a dental prosthesis that functions and looks just like natural teeth. Considered the gold standard of tooth replacement, dental implants fuse with the jaw bone to provide secure support for false teeth.

A surgical procedure is performed to place the dental appliance into the jawbone. Dental implants work by replacing the root of a missing tooth with a titanium post. This secure fixture is placed into your jawbone and helps keep the replacement teeth in place, just like roots would hold natural teeth. Once this secure fixture has been placed, an artificial crown is attached. The crown looks and functions just like natural teeth.

The process of getting dental implants takes time. It usually takes three to six months for the implant post to fully integrate with the jaw bone. These posts serve as anchors for custom-made dental appliances such as single crowns, dental bridges, or dentures.

To make you more comfortable and informed during your treatment, your dentist will formulate a personalised treatment plan and guide you through the steps of the tooth implant procedure.

a female dentist treats the teeth of a male patient in the office of a dental clinic.concept of medicine, dentistry and healthcare. dental equipment

What Are the Components of a Dental Implant?

Conventional dental implants are designed to be a three-piece system. Each implant component has an important function and creates a secure and natural-looking tooth replacement. They are as follows:

  • The implant post: The implant post is a screw-shaped device inserted into the jawbone.
  • The abutment: This is attached to the implant post and acts like its extension. The abutment is where the dental prosthetic will be attached.
  • The dental prosthetic: This could be a crown, dental bridge, or denture. It helps restore the appearance and function of teeth.

What Is an Implant Post?

An implant post is the main component of a dental implant. It is also known as an implant screw, as it screws directly into the jawbone to prevent movement, allowing implants to withstand biting forces like those from normal chewing.

Implant posts are usually made from medical-grade titanium, a metal that is well-tolerated by the body. Titanium is also strong and lightweight and makes for a long-lasting fixture in the mouth, making it an ideal material for an implant.

Aside from titanium, an implant post can also be made of zirconia, a ceramic biocompatible material. Zirconia implant posts are often used in patients with bone loss and poor bone quality or density. It has higher shear strength and can better deal with extreme temperatures than titanium.

The implant post will be inserted into the jawbone, where it will fuse with the bone over time through a process called osseointegration. Once fused, it will act as the artificial tooth root anchoring the implant into the jawbone. This creates a functioning implant that looks and feels like your natural teeth.

What Is an Abutment?

An implant abutment is a connector piece that is placed between the implant post and the dental prostheses. This connector piece plays an essential role in implant-supported restorations, providing a secure connection between the implant and the crown.

The abutment material can be made from a variety of materials. This includes precious metals, such as gold or palladium, or non-precious metals, such as titanium alloy. Abutment designs vary. For example, an abutment used for dental crowns usually resembles a stumpy screw. On the other hand, abutments used for dentures have attachments to snap the dentures in place.

Depending on clinical factors like biomechanics and aesthetics, your dentist can recommend the appropriate abutment material and design for your implant restoration.

What Types of Restorations or Prosthetics Can Be Attached to Dental Implants?

Dental implants can support a wide range of restorative options, including bridges, dentures, and crowns.

Dental Crown

To replace a single tooth, a dental crown can be attached to an implant post with an abutment. The crown is custom-made from porcelain or other materials to match the surrounding teeth and restore full function.


A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic designed to replace one or more teeth in a row. It is made of crowns attached to the implant’s abutment and pontics that replace the other missing teeth.


For patients who are missing more or all teeth in an arch, an implant-supported denture or overdenture may be recommended for improved stability and comfort. This type of restoration uses special attachments that allow it to snap on 4-6 implant posts, securing the denture in position. Depending on the number of teeth to be replaced, patients may need either a partial denture or a complete denture.

How Are Dental Implants Placed?

There are three different types of dental implants, with each type placed on different areas of the jawbone. Regardless of the type, they all follow the same dental implant process.

  • Endosteal implants: These implants are placed directly in the jawbone. These are the most common type of dental implants used.
  • Subperiosteal Implants: These are placed on top of the jawbone.
  • Zygomatic Implants: These are placed in the cheekbone. It provides an alternative for patients who do not have adequate bone density in the upper jaw.


The placement of an implant post is performed through a minor surgery, usually with the aid of local anesthesia. During dental implant surgery, the gum tissue is incised to expose the bone underneath. Then, a dental drill is used to create a hole in the jawbone. The implant post or titanium screw is then embedded into that hole.

Following placement, the implant must go through a healing process and integration period lasting 3-6 months before its ready for the abutment and prosthetic restoration attachment. This waiting period is crucial as it allows the surrounding gums and bone to heal properly and the implant to fuse with the bone before being exposed to biting forces.

Once healing is complete, the dentist will attach an abutment and a prosthetic restoration, such as a crown or bridge, onto the implant post to restore full function. The restoration will match the rest of your teeth in colour, shape and size for a natural-looking and healthy smile.

Will I Have Temporary Teeth During the Healing Period?

In most cases, temporary teeth are used during the healing period following a dental implant procedure. A temporary crown allows you to continue smiling and eating normally while your mouth is given time to heal.

Depending on the complexity of your case, temporary teeth can be used for anywhere from weeks to months until your final restoration is ready. Some dentists also like to use temporary restorations as a way for their patients to get used to the feel of having implants or crowns before being fitted with a final prosthesis.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The usual lifespan of a dental implant is 25 years. However, this varies depending on how well the implant is cared for, how well oral health is maintained, and how often they visit the dentist for regular checkups. When placed properly, cleaned, and cared for properly, a good set of dental implants should outlast most patients.

Ultimately, how long a dental implant will last depends heavily on how well it’s taken care of. Knowing how important oral health is to your overall well-being should be plenty of incentive to take prudent steps toward protecting your smile and keeping it healthy for many years.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Cost may be one of your main considerations for getting dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth. While it is true that dental implant treatment is an expensive procedure, the cost can vary greatly depending on the type of implant posts and restorations you choose.

For instance, a single implant can cost between \$4000-\$6000. An implant-supported bridge can range between \$6,700 – \$20,500, while the cost of implant dentures can range between \$4000-\$40,000, depending on the type used. These prices are just estimates. The cost can go higher or lower depending on the complexity of the case.

To have a better idea of how much your dental implant treatment will cost, consult a qualified dentist. Ultimately, the cost of your dental implant will vary depending on your needs and preferences.

Final Thoughts

If you’re dealing with tooth loss, a dental implant treatment is an effective solution to restore your smile. The anatomy of a dental implant allows it to take the place of a natural tooth through its different components. These parts work together to provide stability and durability. By understanding how an implant works, you can decide whether this dental treatment is right for you.

With proper care, teeth implants can last for many years. They provide superior comfort and function compared to other tooth replacement options.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, we encourage you to book a consultation appointment with us at Darch Dental Centre. You may do so through our website or by giving us a call. We hope to hear from you soon!

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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