A dental implant is a permanent, artificial tooth that is used to replace a missing tooth.
Dental implants are the closest possible replacement to natural teeth. They look, feel and function just like natural teeth. They allow you to speak and eat with comfort and confidence, and are generally a better alternative to dentures or bridges.
Since dental implants integrate into the jaw bone, they prevent bone loss and gum recession that normally accompanies the loss of a tooth.
Generally, implant placement has two phases:
- Once the suitability of the patient has been assessed, a titanium screw is inserted in the jaw bone. A healing period follows whereby the titanium screw and bone integrate or fuse. This can vary from 3 – 12 months
- After the healing phase, a permanent tooth coloured crown is fitted.
Implants can last many years, however the maintenance of good oral hygiene and regular professional reviews and care, are critical for long term success.