A dental implant is a small titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It is placed beneath the gum and fuses to your bone. Your dentist then mounts a replacement tooth or crown on the implant that looks and feels like your lost tooth.
Dental implants provide a more advanced replacement technology for missing teeth than a traditional bridge because they eliminate the need for grinding down teeth on either side of the space. If you are missing all of your teeth on the top or bottom of your mouth, it is also possible to attach dentures to implants, making them more stable and even nonremovable.
Manufactured from titanium, implants provide a highly biocompatible surface, encouraging bone to attach to the implant during the healing process. This results in a very secure and stable foundation (often lasting a lifetime) for the replacement crowns.It also helps minimize jawbone shrinkage.
Because implants require surgery, you must be in good health, be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, and have healthy gums. Also, you either must have adequate bone to support the implant or be a good candidate to build up the area needing the implant. Once the implant is placed it may require up to 6 months for the bone to grow around it and firmly hold it in place, although in some cases immediate use of the implant may be possible. An oral surgeon or periodontist will be the specialist to do the surgical part of the implant process. Your dentist will then take impressions and place the crowns or dentures onto the implants.
Dr. Hollinsworth is a Candidate of the American Society of Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry(ASIRD). ASIRD is committed to improving the quality of care for dental implant patients by elevating the standards of surgical and restorative dental education and practice. Not every dentist routinely restores and maintains dental implants and not all placers of dental implants are surgeons, By using an ASIRD team, rest assured that your dentist routinely restores and maintains dental implants and only a trained surgeon will place your implant.