Tooth lost to either decay or gum disease leaves a dent in many areas - facial appearance, chewing, facial structure support, etc. Fixed dentures were a good substitute, however, with one major disadvantage. They required removal of natural tooth structure from adjacent healthy teeth. The next big search was to find ways to avoid this, and the result is the dental implant.
The tooth has a visible part called the crown and an invisible part called the root which is hidden in the jaw bone. While the fixed denture replaces only the crown, the implant replaces both the crown and the root.
How implants are done: Once a tooth is lost and the bone is healed to the desired extent, a biocompatible titanium post that is screwed into the bone. This material has the unique property of osseointegration - it fuses to the bone, which is almost like a natural tooth in its socket. This complete fusion may take about 2 to 6 months depending on overall health. After it gets absorbed well into the bone, a crown that matches the adjacent teeth is fixed on it. Implants can also be used for replacing multiple teeth or for overdentures.
There are certain reasons why implants work so well, listed below are some:
Check with your dentist if you are an ideal candidate for implant, and if yes, it surely is worth the investment.