More than 5 million dental implants are placed each year by dentists in the United States. They are an effective way to replace missing teeth and may be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. Implants are posts that are surgically placed into the jaw. They are made of titanium (a strong, lightweight metal) and other materials that are well accepted by the body. Over time, the bone grows around the implants to hold them in place.
Candidates for dental implants should be in good general health and have enough bone to support an implant. For some patients, implants help preserve the jawbone where teeth have been lost. Implants may be placed in one day or might require multiple visits depending on your dentist’s treatment plan.
Many people choose implants to replace a single tooth or several teeth, or to support a full set of dentures.
Missing tooth replaced by a dental implant.
Implants don’t need support from the surrounding teeth.
The single tooth implant replaces the missing tooth's roots. A single tooth implant is a stand-alone unit and does not involve treating the teeth next to it.
Natural tooth and root.
Dental implant and crown
If you are missing one or more teeth, there are many reasons why you should replace them:
Dental implants can be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. The implant-supported bridge replaces the lost natural teeth and some of the tooth roots. Unlike traditional bridges, an implant-supported bridge does not need support from the teeth next to it.
If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported denture can replace the missing teeth and some of the tooth roots. Because the dental implants integrate (or "fuse") with the jawbone, an implant-supported denture tends to be comfortable and stable, allowing you to bite and chew naturally.
A bridge is placed on implants.
After the bridge is placed.