Dental implants are a superior choice of treatment when it comes to restoring individual teeth.
A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root that is implanted into the jaw. Typically composed of titanium, this screw-shaped tooth root supports an artificial replacement tooth. Because the implant completely merges with the jaw bone, it is an extremely successful and permanent means of tooth replacement, and has been used for years in the field of dentistry.
In order to be a candidate for a dental implant procedure, you must first of all require tooth replacement, and must have sufficient gum and bone to support the implant. If there is not adequate bone required for a dental implant, a minimally invasive bone grafting procedure will be performed. Today, bone grafting typically involves using a sand-like material to build up healthy bone where it has been lost. After a while, the patient's jaw bone will be ready to take on the dental implant surgery.
Once the patient's jaw bone is ready to receive the implant, they will come in to see the dentist to have it placed. The patient will be numbed and may be sedated if they wish, and the implant will be strategically implanted into the jaw. After this, the patient will go through a healing phase for several months (also known as osseointegration), where the implant will gradually merge with the bone. Once the patient is fully healed, he or she will come in to have their new artificial tooth finally fixed to the implant.
Patients who undergo a dental implant procedure must look after their new tooth just like they would their natural tooth. With proper daily care, a dental implant treatment can often last a lifetime!