Dental implants have replaced dentures, which were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
These synthetic structures are placed in the area occupied by the tooth’s root. Implants are in turn anchored to the jawbone or in some cases, metal framework found on the bone. Both act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. There are cases where implants are used to attach dentures.
Not every patient is a candidate for a dental implant. If the implant is to take hold, the patient has to have proper bone density and a strong immune system. Dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
Implants look and feel like natural teeth because they’re so well designed. Generally they are made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material, such as metal or ceramic.
To place the implant in the mouth, surgery is necessary to prepare the area. A period of time is required after the procedure for the implant to take hold. Bone tissue must build up to successfully anchor the device. There are times a metal post must be inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure, to properly connect the tooth.
Since surgery is required to complete an implant, patients are given anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics to protect against infection following the procedure.
In any case, implants require thorough oral hygiene and care to ensure they last a long time.