Dental implants have become a reliable way of replacing teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are typically placed in the jawbone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene and maintenance from your dentist.
Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic, yet biocompatible, material like metal or ceramic.
Your periodontist or oral surgeon will prepare and place the implant in the mouth. You may be required to take an antibiotic for a short time following the placement of the implant. Approximately 4-6 months is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the implant. During this time, you may wear a healing partial to maintain the space for the implant. In most cases, metal posts (also known as abutments) are inserted into the implant and an impression is made to fabricate a crown, which will be ready in 4 weeks.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper maintenance to ensure they last a long time.