Dental implants are an excellent solution to replace missing teeth for most patients. Implants do not require preparation of adjacent teeth as would a fixed bridge. When an implant is placed, the bone site is first prepared. The implant is placed in the bone to proper depth and the gums are sutured. The implant must be allowed 4-6 months to heal, and during this time bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration.
After bone integration has taken place, it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the supporting base for your crown. Once the crown is placed, an implant tooth looks and functions like a natural tooth.
In some cases it is possible to place an implant at the time a tooth is extracted. In most cases standard implants are placed after the extraction area has already healed. It is important to first develop the proper bone and soft tissue support for the implant.
Missing tooth, before implant placement
Following implant, abutment, crown
Implants can also be used to retain dentures, partials, and bridges. Please visit our "Dentures" page for more information about the denture stability one can achieve with implants.