If one or more of your teeth are missing, there are a number of ways to replace them. An alternative to bridges or dentures are dental implants.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth.
An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth.
If you are in good general health, have healthy gums and have enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant, dental implants might be right for you.
How dental implants are done?
The periodontal specialist will examine your mouth and take X-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you. First, the periodontist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
Next, once the tissue is healed, the dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
Finally, an artificial replacement tooth is made and the periodontal specialist attaches it to the abutment.
When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.