A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.
The benefit of using implants is that they don't rely on neighboring teeth for support and they are permanent and stable.
Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue.
How do they work?
Strategically placed, implants can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture.
What can I expect during this procedure?
The dentist must perform surgery to anchor the "artificial root" into or on your jaw bone. The procedure is done in the dental office with local anesthesia. The gum is then secured over the implant, which will remain covered until it fuses with the bone. The dentist then uncovers the implant and attaches an extension, or post, to the implant. Finally, the dentist makes an artificial tooth, or crown, that is attached to the implant post.
How long does the process take?
The process can take up to six months to complete. Each patient heals differently, so times will vary. After the implant and posts are placed surgically, the healing process can take up to six months and the fitting of replacement teeth no more than two months. Sometimes, if a patient has good bone quality, posts can be placed and replacement teeth fitted in one appointment.