Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are titanium structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone quantity. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a biocompatible material like metal or ceramic which can stay in bone without infection.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, implants can be placed the same day that the tooth they are replacing is extracted and can be immediately replace the missing tooth.
Implant placement requires minor surgery, and is done under local anesthesia.. Antibiotics are often needed following the procedure to stave off infection. Many implant placements are done so routinely and only take take 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
The following is an actual implant case restored by Dr. Zingerman.