Dental implants may be a good option for you if you have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal disease or injury. A dental implant starts with a titanium screw placed beneath the gums as a foundation, like a root. Then to replace the visible portion of the tooth, a dental crown or bridge will be inserted. After placement, the dental implants will undergo osseointegration, a process where the implant fuses with the bone. The process creates a strong bond keeping the implant from shifting and allowing the implant to last a lifetime.
Dental implants are optimal for missing teeth because they are implanted in the bone, replace the entire tooth structure, and can replace one or more missing teeth. The structure of dental implant is three parts:
- A titanium screw below the gum line to replace the root
- A small metal post, called an abutment, connecting the screw with the crown
- A dental crown that’s visible in the mouth
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed in multi-appointment stages under local and oral sedation. The exact time frame and number of appointments will vary depending on your needs and the number of implants being placed. It usually takes 6-18 months, though, and most of the time is spent healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw.