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An introduction to implants

Male dentist using digital tablet to show female patient X-rays

The basics of dental implant treatment are simple. First, a titanium screw is placed into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth to act as the “root” for your new tooth. Then, a special connector known as an abutment is used to affix the false tooth (called a crown or prosthesis) firmly in place.

Fully functional and long-lasting

There are many advantages to choosing dental implant treatment over a dental bridge when looking to fill a gap in your smile, including:

  • Dental implants may last longer, potentially for the rest of your life
  • Your new tooth will look, feel and function just like your natural teeth
  • Implants are easy to clean and maintain–simply brush and floss like normal
  • Implants do not damage adjacent healthy teeth

The procedure

A typical implant placement that does not require any bone grafting or other jaw preparation involves three steps:

  1. Surgically installing a titanium screw into the jawbone under the gap created by the missing tooth. The implant can be installed immediately after the extraction of a damaged tooth or into a space that has existed for some time, as long as the underlying bone structure is sufficient.
  2. Once the implant has integrated into the jawbone, the post (abutment) used to attach the crown is inserted into place.
  3. Finally, the crown is attached to the abutment for permanent placement.

Dental implant success rates exceed 95%

Implants are one of the most reliably successful oral surgeries. For patients identified as good candidates to receive dental implants, most studies indicate a success rate greater than 95%.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

To be a good candidate for implants, a patient should have:

  • A healthy jawbone and gums
  • Sufficient bone volume and density
  • A clean bill of oral health

To find out if implants are right for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon.

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