What Is a Dental Implant?

By Mary Anne Kress

A Dental Implant is a titanium post placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. The titanium combined, with other materials, creates a strong, lightweight metal that is readily accepted by the body.

Dr. Kent Spurling has placed many implants for patients embarrassed to smile because of:

  • Missing teeth that affect your smile, chewing or speaking
  • Ill-fitting or loose, uncomfortable dentures
  • Dissatisfaction with the idea of a removable partial denture
  • Concern about the amount of healthy tooth structure lost on adjacent teeth during a fixed bridge preparation


Whether you have suffered tooth loss because of an accident or disease, Dr. Kent Spurling is the implant dentist in Mesa to see. During your implant consultation, Dr. Spurling will review your health history, listen to your dental health goals and give you your options.

What Happens When a Missing Tooth Is Not Replaced

Not replacing a missing tooth has short and long-term consequences. Even if the tooth is not in you smile view, the effect a missing tooth has on chewing can lead to digestive problems. One missing molar decreases your ability to break down solids by 25%, meaning your food is being swallowed in a consistency the rest of your digestive system is not made to handle so that system is stressed.

Some long-term consequences are:

  • Facial sagging that makes you look older
  • Other teeth shifting because of the open space
  • Bone loss around the missing tooth area causing the remaining tooth to become loose and put them at risk for loss as well

The Three Parts of a Dental Implant

There are three basic parts to a dental implant. They are:

  • Implant. The actual implant is the titanium post below the gum line that takes the place of the root of the missing tooth.
  • Abutment. The abutment is the connector between the implant and the crown.
  • Crown. The crown is the part you see above the gum line.

What’s the Next Step?

If you have more questions about Dental Implants, Call Dr. Kent Spurling at Light Touch Dental Laser and Implant Center to set up a Complimentary Implant Consult. You can have a tour of the office, meet the team and discuss your individual situation. We want to answer all your questions and show you some before and after pictures from our Smile Gallery to help you make the best decision for your unique situation. Call today 480-612-6352.

Be sure to look for the second topic in my nine-part Dental Implant series, Is a Dental Implant the Best Option for Replacing a Missing Tooth? Coming next week.

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