Dental implants are metal or ceramic fixtures that are inserted into the upper or lower jaw bones. They are meant to copy the roots of the tooth or teeth they are replacing. They are used to support a dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture. Dentures supported by implants have advantages over traditional dentures.
For some people, implants may be a good choice for providing support. This includes those with loose or poor-fitting dentures due to flat ridges. Or those with multiple missing teeth who need support for crowns and bridges. Implants help:
Reduce movement of dentures
Allow correct chewing
Provide support and better stability for removable dentures
Give the "feel" of natural teeth better than traditional dentures
Improve speech and appearance
There are many things to think about before getting an implant. For instance, you must:
Have a correct diagnosis.
Have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant.
Not have certain health conditions that may affect your ability to heal.
Not smoke or drink alcohol.
Be committed to careful oral hygiene and regular dental visits after getting the implants.
The 2 most common types of dental implants are:
Endosteal implants (most common). This type of implant is inserted into the jawbone. It's used as a root to support a crown.
Subperiosteal implants (uncommon). This type of implant is rarely used. But it may be a choice for people who can't wear conventional dentures. It uses a lightweight, specially designed, metal implant that fits right on the existing bone.
Dental implants may be inserted by any dentist specially trained in implantology, a periodontist, or an oral surgeon.
Implants are made of biologically compatible materials, such as titanium. These materials have been tested extensively over several years and have never been living tissue. So there is little to no chance that the body's immune system will reject the implant.