Of all the ways modern dentistry has to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants also help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.
A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, requiring only local anesthesia in most cases. After a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.
During a minor surgical procedure done in the dental office, your dental implant is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space vacated by the missing tooth. We schedule about 45 minutes to an hour to place one implant but much less time is required for additional implants. Initially, time is spent reviewing medical history, taking your blood pressure and providing you with the proper anesthesia. Any postoperative discomfort can normally be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Your implant will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it.