Dental implants are made of titanium and designed to replace or mimic natural tooth roots that support the crowns of our teeth. Implants are permanently fixed to the bone to look and feel like natural teeth. Through a process called "Oseointegration" the bone of the mouth heals around the placed implant. After a period of three to four months of implant placement an implant supported tooth may be placed to restore function and esthetics that had been lost.
Restorations over implants
Finished implant restoration
Good implant candidates are those with sound periodontal tissues (bone and gum) and healthy individuals that are not compromised by smoking habits, diabetes, and bone diseases like Osteoporosis with healthy hearts.
If a tooth is lost, the extraction site is prepared with bone graft material followed by implant placement and then restoration of the lost tooth through "loading" or affixing a tooth to the implant.
Dental implants should be cared for like our natural teeth through brushing and flossing as well as regular six month checkup and hygiene appointments to maintain the function and integrity of the implant.