Understanding Implant Dentistry
An excellent way to replace missing teeth.
A missing tooth or teeth
Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
Desire to improve chewing ability
Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures
Good teeth on either side of the gap (do not want the risk of a bridge)
A dental implant is a metal root that replaces your root. An artificial tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking, functional replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, two implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge. Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can greatly improve chewing ability and quality of life (enjoy your food again).
It generally takes four to six months for the surgical implant to heal before the artificial tooth or teeth can be placed.
Dental implants with artificial teeth are the closest thing to your natural teeth. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually indestructable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability. They are superior to bridges and removable dentures.
Dental implants are excellent, state-of-the-art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as bridges and dentures. However, dental implants do require surgery and time to heal, and they are initially more expensive than dentures or fixed bridges. These disadvantages are offset by the ease of use, saved time and long term stability of implants.
In some cases there may be not enough bone to support an implant. In those instances, advanced surgery to restore bone may be necessary to allow use of implants. The alternative to using implants would be a fixed bridge or a removable denture.