A dental implant is an excellent treatment solution for individuals who are missing one or more teeth.
Implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth.
The dental implant is a metal post or frame made of titanium that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gums. It’s used to anchor or support a replacement tooth or bridge.
The implant procedure is considered to be a form of cosmetic dentistry.
Dental implants are a viable option for people in good oral health who have:
v One or more missing teeth
v Dentures that don’t fit properly
v Adequate bone to support the implant
v Healthy gum tissue
v Act and feel like natural teeth
v Keep replacement teeth, bridges and crowns stable
v Help stop progressive bone loss and shrinkage of the jawbone preventing deterioration of facial structures and improving appearance
v Eliminate the discomfort caused by removable dentures
v Are permanent
Dental implant surgery usually takes place in the dentist’s office under local anesthesia. The surgery occurs in stages and involves several procedures. The entire process generally takes six to eight months.
During the first step, tiny titanium posts (implants) are surgically placed in the jaw bone where teeth are missing. After surgery there is a healing period of approximately four to six months. During this time, the implants fuse to the bone by a process known as ‘osseointegration’.
In the next step, the dentist will attach a post to the artificial root in the jawbone. This post will support either one tooth or a set of teeth.
Once the implants are in place, impressions are taken and the replacement bridgework or denture is designed.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the replacement teeth are secured to the posts attached to the implants.
Like any surgery, implant surgery poses some health risks but they are usually minor and easily treated.
With proper oral hygiene implants cans last a lifetime. A thorough exam by your dentist will determine whether dental implants are right for you.