Dental implants are artificial replacements for lost teeth. They offer an alternative to dentures and serve to support the jaw and nearby teeth.

Types

There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants involve cylinders and screws placed in the jaw. These are the most common implants. Subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jaw and are indicated for those who cannot wear dentures.

Eligibility

Not everyone is eligible for dental implants. They are appropriate for individuals with good oral health with gums free of infection and disease. The jawbone must be evaluated to ensure that it is adequate to support the implant.

Procedure

The process involved in dental implants is extensive. The dentist attaches a titanium implant to the jaw bone, after which the jaw must adjust and heal. As it heals, the bone grows around the implant, making it sturdy and secure. Once the bone had healed completely, the dentist attaches an artificial tooth to the implant. In certain cases, the artificial tooth and implant are attached together.

Anaesthetic is necessary during the procedure, and pain relievers are recommended during recovery. A recovery period of three to four months is standard. The procedure is considered both cosmetic and restorative.