Dental Implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Dental Implants may be used to permanently anchor crowns, bridges or dentures. When used for crowns or bridges they consist of three parts: the body (single or multiple), the abutment(s) and the crown or bridge. The implant body is commonly referred to as the “implant”. It is a metal (usually titanium) post that is placed below the level of the gum, into the bone. The abutment is then attached to the implant to be visible above the gum; it is what holds the crown in place. The crown is then cemented onto the abutment.
The most common type of implant case is for replacing a single tooth. Most patients who choose implants do so because they do not wish to have their natural teeth cut down for a fixed bridge. The implant allows them to replace their missing tooth while saving their own surrounding teeth.
Many patients also choose dental implants so as not to have to worry about the long term replacement cost. Tooth supported bridges and dentures need to be replaced over time due to wear and loss of integrity. When cared for properly, dental implants should not have to be replaced.
While dental implants may be a larger investment of time and money, the long-term benefits usually outweigh the initial cost of treatment.