Dental implants are an excellent way to replace one or more of your teeth. Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth. They are comfortable and look natural. Implants may also be used in conjunction with dentures for stability.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Who can get dental implants?
If you are in good general health, have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw, dental implants might be right for you. If the bone levels are insufficient you may need to have a bone graft before placement of the implant. A bone graft is a way of adding bone to your jawbone.
How dental implants are done?
Initially your dentist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays to find out if dental implants are right for you.
During the first stage of surgery, your dentist will place a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue and place a healing cap on the surface. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
One healed, an impression of your teeth is taken in order to make an artificial replacement tooth. Once the tooth is fabricated, your dentist attaches it to the implant.
If you need an implant supported denture the process will be similar however you will need more than one implant placed. At the end the patient gets a new denture that snaps-on to their implants.