Exactly What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implants

Maybe you’ve heard people talk about dental implants. It’s been said that they’re modern dentistry’s best option for replacing missing teeth; That they offer the highest success rate of any tooth replacement procedure; That, with proper care, they can last just as long as your own natural teeth — a lifetime. But, you may still be wondering: What exactly are dental implants? We’re glad you asked!

Picture a tooth — the kind you might see on an old-fashioned dentist’s sign. It has two main parts: The crown (the pearly-white part that shows up when you smile), and the root, the part below the gum line that anchors the tooth in the jaw. A dental implant permanently replaces the root part of the tooth with a special metal insert that’s placed in the jawbone with minor surgery. A crown restoration — that is, a prosthetic tooth that’s created to look and function just like your natural teeth — is then placed atop the implant. Together, they make an implant a complete tooth replacement system.

What’s so great about this system? Essentially, it’s the fact that the titanium metal of which the implant is made has a very special property: It can integrate (fuse) with the living bone of your jaw, a process called osseo-integration. That’s what allows an implant that has been properly placed to remain looking good and functioning well for a long, long time. And isn’t that what everyone wants from their teeth?