Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing a single, missing tooth, and can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth or support dentures or other fixed prostheses.
A dental implant based restoration is composed of three parts:
- The implant itself, which is a threaded, titanium post that is surgically placed into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth. This acts as an artificial root, which will support a replacement tooth.
- An abutment. This is a post that screws into the implant and rises above the gumline. This serves as the base over which a crown will be cemented.
- A crown. This is the artificial tooth that is cemented onto the abutment. After it is cemented it is a permanent restoration that is not removed.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants are the replacement option that most realistically mimic a natural tooth. They do not put any stress on adjacent teeth or require your dentist to alter them to support a restoration. Because they are stand alone restorations, you can easily floss around them like you would a natural tooth. They have the highest long term success rate of any restoration option for missing teeth.
Is the procedure difficult?
The procedure is surprisingly easy. The bone into which implants are placed contains no nerves, so your dentist will only have to numb the gum tissue surrounding the surgical site. Most implants can be easily placed in a one hour appointment or less, and patients are typically impressed by how painless the procedure is. Patients usually find their implant appointment to be easier and more comfortable than most other dental procedures.