A dental implant replaces a missing tooth. It looks and functions just like your own tooth.
Dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement. They are durable and lifelike, and offers you a level of function and consequently self-assurance you’ll wish you knew about years ago. Implants can improve biting efficiency, nutritional intake, aesthetics, stimulate the bone, and much more.
A dental implant is a piece of titanium or other materials that looks like a screw. It is put into the jaw where the missing tooth’s roots were. Over time, bone grows around the implant, which helps to hold it in place.
An artificial tooth, or crown, is then attached to the metal to fill in the gap left by the missing tooth. The crown is specially made to look like the other teeth in size, shape and colour.
Dental implants can also be used to hold a bridge or dentures in place.
If you have one or more missing teeth, a dental implant might be a suitable option if you:
Your dentist will discuss with you whether a dental implant procedure is suitable for you.
A dental implant is usually done in stages over a few months, with a series of minor operations and tests.
It’s a slow process, with quite a few visits to the dentist and possibly some trips to have scans or x-rays.
After any of the minor operations, you might have bruising, pain and swelling of the gums and face. You may also have some bleeding from the gums.
You might need to eat soft foods after each surgery to let the dental implant site heal.
No special care is required for a dental implant. You will probably be advised to keep your natural and artificial teeth clean by brushing and flossing, and have regular dental check-ups.
Dental implants are usually successful. Problems are rare but include:
The alternatives to dental implants are wearing dentures or having a bridge done. The advantages of dental implants is they look and feel like your own teeth and they don’t sacrifice the quality of other teeth.