An implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone where a missing tooth or missing teeth are. The implant is left in the jawbone for several months to heal and solidify in the bone. When the bone is healed and able to withstand forces, a crown made of porcelain or ceramic will be placed on top. If properly cared for, implants can last a lifetime and are the best solution for missing teeth.
Dental implants replace missing teeth and therefore make it easier to bite, chew, speak and smile. Missing teeth can lead to inadequate nutrition and issues with self-confidence. Dental implants can replace one tooth, several teeth or even an entire upper or lower arch of teeth. Implants can also be used to support a fixed denture for full mouth cases. Implants are by far the most superior and long-lasting treatment option for replacing missing teeth, and they function and feel just like natural teeth.
When a tooth is lost, the bone level in the area the tooth used to be will begin shrinking. This is because the jawbone relies on each tooth to keep it at the correct height. Within just a couple years there may be severe shrinking of the bone in an area with a missing tooth, which is why it is vital to address the issue right away. An implant placed in the area of a missing tooth acts just like a natural tooth in the sense that it allows the jawbone to stay in the correct position and not shrink away. Dental implants help to maintain the health of the jaw.
When there is a gap from a missing tooth, the opposing teeth end up over erupting to fill the space, and the adjacent teeth are susceptible to drifting into the area. Teeth always like to have opposing and neighbouring teeth, so when there is a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth will move around. This can affect the appearance of the smile and cause problems with the bite. By placing an implant, it prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting.