Dental implants fall into both the categories of prosthetic (replacing what is lost) and cosmetic dentistry. Although oftentimes, a patient needs an implant in order to properly perform task such as eating, in many cases, implants provide merely an aesthetic value, allowing wearers to go through their day-to-day lives without feeling self-conscious or ugly.
People lose teeth for a variety of reasons including genetic predisposition, age, injuries, root canal failure, and tooth decay. Whatever the reason for losing a tooth, for most people, especially younger ones, the desire to replace that missing tooth remains the same.
Although many people opt for dentures or bridges, often implants provide a much more logical solution. For example, implants work better for younger people who have lost only one or two teeth due to an accident or some other unforeseen circumstance. Also, implants tend to be more permanent than bridges and dentures, making them much more cost effective when only one tooth needs replacing.
In order to implant a fake tooth, a dentist must first drill a hole into the section of the jaw where the tooth will go. Once this drilling is finished, the dentist carefully enlarges the whole and places a titanium screw into it. Afterward, he or she places a cover on the screw and the spot is left to heal. Then, the dentist puts a temporary crown in the spot. Finally, the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent crown.
Consumer Guide to Dentistry gives facts about dental implants, including information about the virtues of this procedure as well as the likelihood that a dental implant procedure will succeed. According to the site, patients have a 90% chance of an upper jaw implant lasting and a 95% chance for a lower jaw implant. The article also describes how implants are done, as well as new developments in the world of dental implants.
Dr Spiller's extensive website on dentistry includes this article on dental implants. The article starts with a history of titanium implants and the discover by Per Ingvar Branemark in 1952 that bones and the immune system allow full integration of titanium into the bone structure. He continues with a description of different kinds of implants, a list of reasons someone might need an implant, and a comparison of implants to fixed bridges. He also gives some advice on affording dental care.