What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a synthetic tooth replacement made from biocompatible material such as titanium. Resembling a cross between a tooth root and a screw, single unit dental implants are placed at the site of the patient’s missing tooth and surgically implanted into their bone.
While this procedure sounds complex and painful, patients respond to it well and report little discomfort. Most patients heal without incident, a process that takes several months.
During that time, a process called osseointegration occurs that fuses the dental implant and the patient’s natural bone together, creating a stable foundation for a dental crown. The dental crown will complete the patient’s smile as well as act as a space holder to keep other teeth from drifting toward the gap left by the missing tooth. This protects the patient’s occlusion (bite).
Dental implants also have the added benefit of helping prevent bone loss, a condition common when patients lose teeth.
Each dental implant crown is a custom design to fit with the patient’s natural teeth. Implant crowns are generally made of porcelain and designed to match the other teeth in the patient’s smile so that it blends in seamlessly, enhancing their appearance, supporting their health, and allowing them to eat the foods they love.