A dental implant is a titanium "post'' that is surgically embedded into the jawbone and simulates the natural root of a tooth. It is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth but can also serve as an attachment to help anchor a fixed bridge or denture. A full evaluation by the dentist is first performed to ensure the patient is a good candidate for implants. Patients need adequate bone to support an implant, a healthy immune system, and, in many cases, be a good candidate for bone grafting to support the implant.
This type of treatment involves both a surgeon and a restorative dentist to complete. The surgeon places the implant and bone grafts the area as needed. Once this is completed, the implant must be left untouched for an average time of 4-6 months to allow proper integration of the implant to the bone. After this, the restorative dentist then cements a crown on top of the implant post that looks and acts like a normal tooth.