Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to replace missing teeth in order to improve oral health by restoring dental function, esthetics, comfort and speech. Teeth that are lost due to injury, cavities or other reasons can be replaced by implanting a titanium screw into bone. Osseous integration takes place during healing, which means the bone will fuse with implants making the bond between bone and teeth stronger. This osseous integration means that patients will be able to chew, speak and smile like they would with natural teeth. But just like natural teeth, implants need the same oral care, like brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups, to maintain them.
If you are in good general and oral health, then you are an ideal candidate for dental implants. Diagnostic tests prior to surgery help prepare for any pre-treatment that may be needed prior to implant surgery. Proper diagnosis via bone measurement, x-rays and sometimes CT scans help in developing treatment plans and reduces the risk of complications during surgery.
Healing time is at least 3 to 6 months depending upon the bone healing of the individual receiving the implant. Once the bone where the implant is placed has healed, it is ready to receive a prosthetic crown. There are cases where several teeth are missing and multiple implants can be placed to receive a complete denture prosthesis.