Dental implants* are a fixed solution to missing teeth. The finished result is natural and long-lasting, and feels just like a normal tooth. While there are other procedures to replace missing teeth, dental implants can create a smile that is very natural and extremely durable. It’s almost impossible to distinguish the implant from your existing teeth.
What’s an implant?
An implant is a manufactured replacement for the root of a tooth. Usually made of titanium and looking a little like a screw, the implant is surgically positioned in the jaw bone. A crown is then attached to the top of the implant to fill the gap of the missing tooth.
How is an implant fitted?
A series of scans are taken by your dentist to aid in positioning the implant and to ensure you have plenty of healthy bone structure. If the bone is diseased or missing, there is still a possibility of a bone graft in order to make an implant viable.
The titanium implant is surgically placed in the bone of your jaw where a tooth once was. It is then left for between two and six months so the bone can grow around the implant. During this time you may wear a temporary crown.
Once the implant is securely fused to the bone, the temporary crown is removed and a permanent crown is either cemented or screwed into place.
If you are missing all of your teeth and wear a full denture, it is still possible to use dental implants to restore your smile. A full arch of natural-looking teeth can be held in place on as little as four implants. These fit snugly to help make it feel comfortable and eliminate the need for daily removal and cleaning.
What are the advantages of an implant?
Implants create the most natural and life-like solution to a missing tooth. The result is virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth and in a very short space of time, it will likely feel completely normal.
Other solutions for replacing missing teeth – either a bridge or dentures – are not as long-lasting or natural-looking. Implants allow you to eat, speak and maintain an oral health regimen as if you had never lost a tooth in the first place.