Dental implants have been used for over 30 years now. It is much more common for your dentist to recommend tooth replacement with a dental implant than attempt more traditional methods of restoration, such as a root canal or bridge. Several distinct advantages of a dental implant include no nerve canal, eliminating tooth pain, and less likely to fracture, being made of titanium. Additionally, the tooth emerges from the gums and is often not detectable as a dental prosthesis. You can think of the dental implant as a "root replacement" for your tooth.
A single tooth restoration is actually three parts, the dental implant, the abutment and the crown.
Your dentist will typically seat the abutment and still need to have a crown constructed to be fitted on top of the implant/abutment. With many implants, the hope is that they last your lifetime. If you can maintain tissue and bone around your implant, just as you would with your natural teeth, then this is very possible. It does mean that even with a smile built entirely on implants, you would still be expected to make your regular hygiene maintenance and been seen by your dentist twice a year.
The placement of dental implants is very controlled and often patients have little to no after surgery pain. If you are missing multiple teeth or struggling with a dental partial, there are often many creative options available using dental implants, giving us the ability to eliminate the metal clasps of a partial denture. Come visit us for a 3D CT and dental implant consultation. If you would like any additional information regarding dental implants, please follow this link to the Dental Implant section of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.