Dental implants are secured in the jawbone and function as replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, substitute a removable partial denture or support a bridge or full denture.
Are dental implants right for me?
Implants require extensive surgery, therefore patients considering implants must be in good health, have healthy gums and have adequate bone to support the implant. The preparation for, and healing of, the implant surgery may require the time commitment of six or more months and regular dental visits.
To determine if you would be a good candidate for dental implants, visit your dentist for a thorough evaluation. At this visit, be sure to alert your dentist of any dental and medical conditions and allergies that you have.
How are implants placed?
Implants consist of three parts and are placed in a series of surgeries. In the first surgery, the implant anchor is rooted into the jawbone. The first surgery also may involve the placement of a post, to which the artificial tooth will be attached, or this will be completed in a second surgery. Once the gums have had several weeks of healing time, the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post in one or more fitting sessions.
What are the benefits of implants?
Implants are an option for those individuals who have difficulty using conventional dentures. Implants provide more natural-looking artificial teeth and may feel more secure than dentures. Implants help to re-create a very natural smile.
What are the risks of implants?
If the implants cause stress to the jaw bones and bone loss occurs, the implant may loosen. If the implant must be removed, it may be difficult to fit a conventional denture. There also is the risk of healing complications, improper alignment or breakdown of the implant.
American Academy of Periodontology
Simple Steps to Better Dental Health: Implants