A dental implant is an artificial tooth root foundation designed to aid in the replacement of natural teeth. Dental implants feel, and function like natural teeth. Once they are restored with crowns or bridges, they look natural, are esthetically pleasing, and are difficult to distinguish from remaining teeth. Function, cosmetics, confidence and smiles are re-gained and/or enhanced with this predictable and reliable procedure. Patients with good oral health missing one or multiple teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or decay are ideal patients.
Most dental implants are made of pure titanium with specialized surfaces to aid in their adherence (osseointegration) of the jaw bone. They help replace missing teeth, prevent further bone loss, and are tooth-saving by eliminating the need for conventional bridgework. Although conventional bridgework is sometimes the only option, it completely relies on neighboring teeth for support. Dental implants can also aid in the retention and stability of removable partial dentures, complete dentures and full mouth porcelain bridgework and acrylic hybrids. Dental implants eliminate loose-denture worries and the need for denture pastes and adhesives. Like natural teeth, implants kept clean with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings will provide a lifetime of function, cosmetics, and smiles.
Nation-wide, dental implant success rates have risen to a record range of 96-98%. This amounts to one of the most successful medical procedures available today. Healing periods range from 1-3 months along the mandible and 4-6 months along the maxilla. Bone grafting procedures may add 3-6 months to these healing periods.