Dental implants are the most natural and life like restorations used to replace missing teeth. It is the closes thing to having brand new teeth. The strength surpasses that of your natural tooth. So you can chew hard food without any problem. They last longer than bridges or dentures with no damage to the adjacent teeth and prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth.
Implant is made of pure titanium, the only metal that the body accepts. It consists of a titanium fixture or screw that is placed inside your jawbone. An abutment attachment is screwed onto the fixture, and then a crown is placed on top of the abutment.
Implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Once the implant is placed, the bone will start to integrate (grow) around the implant anchoring it in place. After 3-4 months the implant will be ready to support a new tooth/crown.
The procedure involves an initial consultation where your medical status is assessed. There are some medical conditions which may preclude you from having implants. Your bone density and amount of bone is checked to see if there is enough bone to support the implant. Periodontal disease or gum disease must be absent so you must have good oral hygiene. You must also be a non-smoker (or willing to give up smoking) as this diminishes the ability of your jaw bone to attach onto the titanium implant.
X-ray will need to be taken to assess the amount of bone, the quality of bone and the surrounding anatomy of the implant site. Models of your teeth will be taken. The x-ray and models are used to make a guide (surgical stent) for the precise placement of the implant.
Your next appointment will be the placement of the implant where a small incision is made on your gums to allow the placement of the implant using the guide (surgical stent).
After a period of 3 - 4 months when the bone has integrated or attached onto the implant, a new tooth/crown is screwed onto the integrated implant.