A dental implant is fake root made of titanium. It looks like a small peg or anchor that is inserted into the jawbone. The titanium is very similar to the medical titanium used in hips and other joints. This titanium is very bio-compatible (meaning the tissue and bone love it), and will become a permanent part of you. It stays in your jawbone until it fails or you decide to remove it. It will take approximately 3 months for the bone to attach to the implant.
So now that you have an anchor made of titanium, your dentist needs to attach the crown to it. They do this using a connector, also called an “abutment.” An impression is taken, sent to a dental lab, and an abutment and crown are made. Your dentist will try these in and take an x-ray to confirm the fit. Then, they will screw the abutment into the implant and cement the crown over the top of it. You now have an esthetic, permanent, long-lasting solution for a missing tooth.
The most ideal candidates for implants are patients with healthy gum and bone, who do not smoke, and who have overall good oral health. Patients who smoke or who have gum disease may still be a candidate for implants, but will need to be evaluated by a dentist.
SINGLE OR MULTIPLE IMPLANTS
Implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or help snap a denture into place. Depending on which teeth are missing, there is almost certainly an implant solution that will work well for you.
ADVANTAGES OVER DENTURES OR BRIDGES
Implants have some pretty significant advantages of traditional bridges. First off, they do not involve drilling on the teeth adjacent to the space. Drilling on adjacent teeth removes vital enamel, and could lead to the nerves becoming irritated. In rare cases, this means you could need root canals on those teeth!
Conventional bridges are also much harder to clean because food can collect under the bridge. Patients with bridges also have to use special floss threaders to clean under the bridge and help prevent decay.