What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are a great option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Teeth restored with dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. You can brush, floss and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings just as you would naturally.
The placement of a dental implant usually involves several steps:
- The dental implant, usually a cylindrical and/or tapered post made of titanium, is placed surgically into the jawbone.
- As you heal, your implant will osseointegrate, or fuse with, your natural jawbone, with the two growing together to form a strong and long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. This healing process can take weeks to months while you proceed with your everyday life in between appointments.
- Once the implant bonds with the jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on top of the dental implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.
- An individual tooth, an implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple teeth are then attached to the support joint(s).