A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth. Essentially a titanium device is screwed into the bone (replacing the roots of a tooth) and a crown or other restoration is then placed onto the implant.
The dental implant is embedded into the bone, meaning that this option is closest to replicating a natural tooth.
Dental implants have the highest success rate when compared to other tooth replacing options such as bridges and dentures. They have a success rate of up to 98% and with the correct and proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Other tooth replacement options such as bridges require adjacent teeth to be prepared, meaning that part of the structure of those teeth is lost, weakening those teeth. A dental implant doesn’t do this!
Implant site preparation: An incision is made into the gum and the bone is exposed in the area where the implant is to be placed. A special drill is then used to prepare the bone for implant placement.
Placing the implant: The implant is screwed in using special instruments. The tissue is then sutured into place, covering the implant.
The healing process: This usually takes between 3-6 months and in this period the dental implant becomes incorporated into the bone. This process is known as ‘osseointegration’.
Attaching the crown: Once the healing and osseointegration has occurred, a special attachment post is attached to the implant, which will allow for the final restoration or crown to be cemented onto the implant.