Dental implants are the only permanent solution available to replace missing teeth. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve lost a tooth due to decay, trauma or overcrowding, it’s important to visit your dentist immediately. Because teeth support each other, it only takes one missing tooth to cause the surrounding teeth to shift. When this happens, chewing often becomes difficult and speech patterns can become impaired.
Widely considered to be the most durable and functional tooth replacement option available, dental implants are becoming the go-to procedure to fill the space left by a missing tooth. The long-term consequences of tooth loss can be serious. Large voids between teeth eventually become difficult to clean, which is why tooth decay and periodontal, or gum, disease often follows tooth loss. While some turn to solutions—such as dental bridges or removable dentures—patients who want a permanent solution look to dental implants.
Receiving a dental implant is a surgical procedure—an artificial tooth root is implanted into the jawbone, which provides a permanent base for a fixed crown. After the artificial root is placed in the jawbone, the two bond to one another through a process known as osseointegration. This usually takes between two to six months. Once the implant is secure, a permanent crown will be cemented in place.