Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They allow you to live the way you want to – confidently eating, smiling, laughing, talking and enjoying all of your everyday activities without worrying about your teeth.
Think of dental implants as artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone (A), they bond with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.A connector – known as an abutment (B) – is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crowns. The crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth (C).Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.
Here are four important advantages of dental implants, compared to alternatives such as dentures and bridges:
1. You'll look and feel great. Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth. They're so comfortable you don't have to think about them. You brush and floss them just like you do your natural teeth – no need to remove them for cleaning. They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.
2. They're built to last. Dental implants that are properly cared for can last many decades. Many other options, including certain types of dental bridges and dentures, may need to be replaced as often as every 5 to 10 years requiring a more significant investment of time and money.
3. You can live life with confidence. Your dental implants will be secure, so they won't slip or click when you talk, eat or laugh. You'll also find that your speech is more natural. With dental implants, you'll have the peace of mind to eat what you love, say what you want to say, be as active as you want and smile broadly.
4. They protect facial bone and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to health issues such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss. Getting dental implants as soon as possible after losing a tooth helps prevent bone loss at the site. Also, dental implants don't require grinding down adjacent teeth to anchor bridges or attach partial dentures.