A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
How do dental implants work?
Teeth restored with dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. You brush, floss and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, same as you would to care for a natural tooth.
After meeting with a periodontist in our office to develop your treatment plan, the placement of a dental implant usually involves several steps:
- The dental implant, usually a cylindrical and/or tapered post made of titanium, is placed surgically into the jawbone. It is most often a painless procedure, done with local anesthetic.
- As you heal, your implant will osseointegrate, or fuse with, your natural jawbone, with the two growing together to form a strong and long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. This healing process can take weeks to months while you proceed with your everyday life in between appointments.
- Once the implant bonds with the jawbone, a small connecting post – called an abutment – is placed on top of the dental implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.
- An individual tooth, an implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple teeth are then attached to the abutment.