What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames, also referred to as "screws", that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Dental implant surgery is the procedure in which missing or damaged teeth are replaced surgically.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants replace the form and function of missing teeth. They support replacement teeth in virtually the same way that your natural tooth root supports your natural teeth.
Dental Implant Procedure
How dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. A healthy jawbone with adequate bone and space to support the implant is a must, and will be determined by your oral surgeon.
All dental implant surgery occurs in stages and involves several procedures. The major benefit from implants is solid support for your new teeth - a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because this healing requires time, the process can take many months.
Once the implant has "fused" or "bonded" to your jawbone, the procedure continues. Small posts or anchors are placed through the implant which will support your new artificial tooth or teeth.
Two types of implants have been promoted by The American Dental Association as safe. These are Endosteal Implants and Subperiosteal Implants. Endosteal implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Subperiosteal Implants consist of a metal frame fitted onto the jawebone below the gum tissue.
How Long do Dental Implants Last?
There are many factors to determine how long an implant will last, but with proper hygene, regular dental visits, and a strong healthy jawbone to start out, you can expect your implants to last between 10-20 years. Molars may not last as long, as these teeth receive more wear and tear that the ones in front of your mouth.