A dental implant (tooth implant) is a small titanium fixture that serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Titanium is used because it is most bio-compatible with our human body. The dental implant is surgically placed in the jawbone and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth. After bonding takes place between the jawbone and the dental implant, the implant can provide a firm base to support a crown, bridge or denture.
Dental implants may be used to replace a single missing tooth, several teeth or a complete and functional set of dentures for individuals who have lost several or all of their teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants are fitted securely and do not shift about in the mouth, a prerequisite for eating and speaking. As such, most patients report feeling more natural, secure and confident with dental implants compared to when they were using conventional dentures.
This procedure allows one or more teeth to be replaced without affecting neighboring teeth. It is thus recommended as a long-term solution for missing teeth.
- Implant crown
- Implant bridge
- Implant supported denture
Long-term Benefits of Implant-supported Tooth Replacement
- Restores natural biting and chewing capacity
- Virtually stops bone loss or deterioration
- Maintains integrity of facial structure
- Makes you look younger by restoring lip support and minimizing wrinkles
- Increases comfort
If you are considering dental implants, you must first ensure that you have healthy gums and adequate jaw bone. There must be sufficient bone to anchor the titanium implant firmly, leading to stability of the replacement tooth. This is crucial to the long-term success of a dental implant. Some people may require a bone graft prior to the implant placement if their bone is too thin or soft. Others may require a sinus lift for upper arch dental implants if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the sinuses are too close to the jaw. To check your suitability for a dental implant, visit a trusted dental professional for a consultation. Factors such as jawbone height, density and depth can be determined by a cone-beam CT scan.
Implants are a safe and well-established treatment for replacement of missing teeth. Like natural teeth, dental implants will last for as long as you care for them. Hence you must commit to keeping the dental implants clean and healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the longevity of dental implants.