Until recently, dental implants have been unaffordable to a majority of dental patients due to the high cost. Thankfully now, implants have become considerably cheaper and advances in technology means that they have also become more predictable in terms of placement and longevity.
Dental implants replace teeth that are lost for various reasons such as decay or fracture. The implants are almost pure titanium and are placed in the bone to act as a root of a tooth
The bone heals around the implant that has been placed and the dentist is able to place a crown (artificial tooth) on top of the implant at a later date. This restores the area where a tooth was missing, maintaining function as well as aesthetics.
Implants can be a good alternative to dentures or conventional dental bridges. The main advantage of a dental implant over the other forms of teeth replacement is that the dental implant does not rely on the surrounding teeth for support, like a denture or a conventional dental bridge. In addition to this, the teeth either side do not have to be shaped or prepared in order to place the implant.
Despite the dental implant being almost pure titanium it is still extremely important to keep excellent oral hygiene. The implant and crown will be virtually impervious to decay however the gums need to be extremely healthy to have predictable long term success of the implant.
Implants can be used for a single tooth replacement, as part of a bridge or even to hold in a denture.