Dental implants are the most advanced method we have in dentistry today to replace missing teeth. They are a long-term and esthetic solution to replacing missing teeth. Advantages to using implants to replace teeth include:
A free standing tooth replacement: Unlike a bridge, the implant does not involve the adjacent teeth for support. This means that if something goes wrong with a bridge, at least 3 teeth would need to be treated to fix the problem, whereas with an implant, only the one tooth space is dealt with.
Ease of cleaning: No special instruments are necessary to clean the implant other than a regular toothbrush and floss, unlike a bridge which requires extra tools for proper maintenance.
Fixed restoration: unlike a partial denture, the implant remains permanently fixed in your mouth.
What is a Dental Implant?
Implants are metal screws made of titanium which are placed into the bone to replace a missing tooth or a group of missing teeth. Titanium has been shown to make a special bond with bone called osseointegration. It takes at least 8 weeks for this process to be completed so that the implant is integrated to the bone. After osseointegration, the crown or bridge, or even a denture, usually connected to the implant by a piece called the abutment, can be fitted to the implants by your dentist so you can begin to chew and function with them.
Sometimes it takes longer than 3 months for the implant to integrate to the bone, depending on the quality of bone that the implant will be placed into, or if there is a bone graft or sinus graft placed at the same time. Please click to learn more about tooth extractions, bone grafting and sinus lifting.