Before the development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
However, not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, you must have proper bone density and a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
You'll be glad to know that implants are so well-designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.
You need to undergo surgery to prepare and place the implant in your mouth. After the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for the bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, metal posts are inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure to connect the tooth.
Because implants require surgery, you'll be given anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics to stave off infection following the procedure.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure that they last a long time.