Before the development of dental implants, bridges or removable dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are titanium posts that are placed in the area of the bone normally occupied by the root. Implants act as a foundation for an artificial tooth, permanent bridge, or denture. However, not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area and place the implant in the mouth. Usually this occurs at on Oral Surgery or Periodontal office. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the bone to heal and incorporate the implant. The average time for this is 6 months.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time. Research and advances in the implant field have made them the most important change in Dentistry in the last 20 years. They have become very predictable and are now often the number one choice for tooth replacement.