Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. Dental implants are now the gold standard of care for replacing missing teeth.
Surgically placed into the jaw bone, they replace the roots of the missing teeth. Abutments are attached to the implants, which protrude through the gums. Abutments provide a stable anchor for replacement tooth crowns.
Dental implants preserve facial structure by preventing bone loss, which occurs when teeth are missing. They provide a solid support for replacment teeth that are virtually as strong as natural teeth. Often times the aesthetics acheived with implants are superior to other replacment options. Implants will prevent damage to other teeth that may be present.
The implants are uncovered and small posts are attached which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. The posts stick out through the gums. When the replacement teeth are placed the posts will not be seen. Usually this entire procedure will take 6-8 months. Patients usually experience minimal discomfort.
More and more people are getting dental implants to replace missing teeth. They’re a long-term solution that is imbedded in your jawbone, just like your natural teeth. Plus, unlike fixed bridges or removable dentures, dental implants will not affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Dental implant surgery is, of course, surgery, and is best done by a trained surgeon. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) has the specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, skin, muscles and nerves involved, to ensure you get the best possible results.
Implants are made of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called “osseointegration.” There’s no short cut to get around that process, and it usually takes several months once the implant is put into your jawbone. Osseointegration, however, is why implants never slip or make embarrassing noises like dentures, and why bone loss is usually not a problem.
After more than 20 years of service, the vast majority of dental implants first placed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States continue to function at peak performance. More importantly, the recipients of those early dental implants are still satisfied they made the right choice.