A dental implant is a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Implants are a surgical fixture that provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. The implant is placed into the jawbone and fuses with the bone over the span of a few months. This artificial tooth root is then ready to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Advanced dental implant procedures create strong bonds for long-lasting effectiveness and a natural look.
Once the implant has integrated fully into the jawbone, the implant restoration will be placed. This is typically performed by your general dentist or a prosthodontist, a dental specialist focused on tooth replacement. This procedure can be used to help replace one tooth, multiple teeth, all teeth permanently, or create supportive removable dentures. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are placed within the jawbone. They typically consist of small titanium screw-like posts. After healing is complete and the implant is ready to be restored, and an abutment or connector is placed on top of the implant. This is then connected to the permanent restoration which is either a crown or removable prosthesis. These artificial teeth that are designed to look and act like your teeth’s natural enamel.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Dental Implant?
The best candidate for a dental implant is someone who has the following:
- One or more missing teeth or a damaged tooth
- Good oral hygiene
- Sufficient bone in the jaw to support an implant
- Overall decent physical health
Dental implants allow you to eat, smile, talk, and enjoy all of your everyday activities confidently, without having to worry about your missing teeth. In addition, dental implants help to preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost, which is one of the major hidden consequences of tooth loss.
If you’re missing or have damaged one or more teeth, you could be a good candidate for a dental implant. Talk to your dentist to see if implant surgery is the right option for you.
How To Care For Your Dental Implants
There are two main rules you must follow to care for your dental implants:
Brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis.
If you face issues with clenching or grinding your teeth, ask your dentist for a night guard to protect your implants. Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth, can cause damage not only to your implants but your surrounding teeth as well, sometimes resulting in the fracturing or loss of additional teeth.
Who Performs Dental Implants?
Dental implant surgery can be performed by any dental specialist who routinely performs surgery within the jawbone. Both oral surgeons and periodontists often specialize in dental implant placement. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.