Dental implants are replacements for the root parts of teeth. They are placed directly into the jawbone. Natural-looking crowns or dentures are attached to the implants to form the tooth-replacement system, which can be a simple crown or a larger bridge. This can happen immediately or several weeks later, depending on your case.
Dental implants are widely considered to be among dentistry’s greatest modern advances and the most successful tooth replacement systems. Dental implants have become an increasingly popular option because they:
· Are highly predictable
· Often last for many decades
· Result in aesthetic and functional tooth replacements
· Can replace single or multiple teeth, or even all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaws
· Can allow for either fixed or removable replacement teeth for those who are missing single or multiple teeth.
· Are the only tooth replacement option that maintains the jawbone and hence facial contours
· Do not require adjacent teeth to be used for support
· Are not subject to tooth decay
Most modern dental implant systems are made of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloys. This metal has a unique ability to fuse directly to bone through a process known as osseo-integration (“osseo” – bone; “integration” – fusion with). It is extremely important, then, for the implant to be engineered in a way that will maximize its surface area-to-bone contact. This is achieved in two ways: by giving the implant the spiraling shape of a screw, with multiple threads, and by microscopically roughening or altering its surface. This allows the implant to be precision fitted and stable, both of which are necessary to initiate healing and fusion.