When you need a tooth replaced due to disease or an accident, dental implants are often the best option. Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone to replace one or more teeth. Many patients choose to have a tooth or teeth replaced this way if they:
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene. If you have generally good health, and your jaw will support an implant, this is probably a good option for you. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and lupus, often slow healing after surgery, making implant treatment, not the best option. If you smoke, be aware that tobacco use can slow the healing process. You should be cleared by your physician before scheduling implant surgery.
Sometimes your dentist will recommend a regimen of careful oral hygiene for an extended period before scheduling implant treatment. This is to avoid the risk of gum disease and assure the health of the bone and tissue needed to support the implant.
There are many kinds of implants that are available so your treatment can take anywhere from a day to several months. Your dentist will discuss with you what your best options might be. There are two basic steps in the process.