What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium cylinders (screws) that are surgically placed into the jawbone where there are missing teeth below the gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Your new tooth, a crown, will look and feel similar to your real teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won't slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
To receive implants, you need to have:
Adequate bone to support the implant (or be a candidate for bone grafting)
Excellent oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits to ensure the long-term success and health of the dental implants