Dental implants are a modern and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. They provide a permanent base for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, which can be removed, dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.

The Components of Dental Implants

1. Titanium Post (The Implant): This is the part that is inserted into the jawbone. It acts like the root of your tooth and is made of titanium, which has the unique ability to fuse with bone, a process known as osseointegration.

2. Abutment: The abutment is a connector built on top of the titanium post once integration with the jawbone is complete. It serves to hold and support the crowns, bridges, or dentures.

3. Crown (Prosthetic Tooth): The crown is the visible part that looks like a natural tooth. It’s usually made of porcelain or ceramic that can be color-matched to your adjacent teeth, providing a seamless look.

The Process of Getting Dental Implants

Initial Consultation

The first step involves a detailed examination of your mouth and teeth and a discussion about your medical history.

Treatment Planning

This phase involves tailoring a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. It may involve specialists like an oral surgeon or a periodontist.

Surgical Procedure

The implant is placed into your jawbone during a surgical procedure. After placement, a period of healing is required for osseointegration.

Abutment and Crown Placement

Once healed, the abutment is placed followed by the crown, completing the restoration.

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a widely accepted and highly successful method for replacing missing teeth, designed to blend in with your natural teeth seamlessly. A crucial aspect of their success, however, lies in the candidacy of the patient, which is determined by several health and lifestyle factors.

To begin with, a routine dental extraction or oral surgery requires a certain level of health, but when considering dental implants, the patient must meet additional criteria to ensure the best outcome. One of the primary requirements is the condition of the patient’s gums. Healthy gums are essential because they are part of the support structure for the implants. Periodontal disease or other gum-related issues can significantly compromise the integrity of an implant.

In addition to healthy gums, having sufficient bone density and volume is critical for implant success. The implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone and acts as a root for the new tooth. If the jawbone is too thin or weak, it may not be able to support the implant, leading to failure. In some cases, patients with insufficient bone may be candidates for a bone grafting procedure to build up the area before the implant can be placed.

As always it is best to consult with your dentist.