Dental implants are permanent, artificial replacement teeth designed to replace missing/rotten teeth and/or prevent jaw bone loss. Unlike other methods such as dentures or veneers, implants replace the root of the tooth, thus providing tooth-like durability for eating and other daily tasks.
Often teeth are lost due to gum disease (periodontitis), tooth decay, mouth trauma, root canal failure, excessive wear and tear, and birth defects. These dental problems often cause embarrassment and self-consciousness; poor eating habits and nutrition; and speech impediments.
The dentist or surgeon will conduct various images of your mouth (including x-rays and CT scans) in order to determine if your gums, mouth, and jaw can accommodate implants. You will need to discuss your willingness to adhere to aftercare, as caring for your dental implants requires extreme diligence.
Depending on the condition of your mouth and the amount of work being done, the procedure may take place in two or more sittings. Usually you will have the implants, usually, a titanium screw put into your gums in place of the tooth roots. These will take 3-6 months to heal. During this time your dentist will cover the screws with temporary crowns. Once the implants have healed, the dentist will complete the permanent artificial replacement tooth. Full recovery generally takes about 6-9 months. Proper oral hygiene is a necessity in order for the implants to be successful.