What are dental implants used for?
Implants are used to replace missing roots and to hold replacement teeth that can be permanently or removably attached.
The procedure for placing dental implants
- Your dentist or oral surgeon inserts a small metal pin into the jaw.
- Over time, the latter becomes integrated into the neighboring framework.
- The post or implant forms a solid base to receive one or more artificial teeth.
Because the implant is integrated into the bone structure, it can be treated much like a natural tooth, except that it is more delicate and requires more care when cleaning with a brush and floss. You need to be gentle and clean all surfaces of the implant. A toothbrush with longer bristles at the tip can help you clean behind the implant. Gently floss at least once a day, paying special attention to the junction of the implant and the gum. A floss threader can be helpful.
Implants are not for everyone
- Be healthy.
- Have healthy gums.
- Have a bone base in the jaw strong enough to support the implant.
It is normal for the bone base to shrink if it no longer supports teeth. Since the implant is integrated into the bone structure, this is less likely to happen.
However, if the teeth have been missing for some time, the bone mass may have decreased. A bone graft can rebuild the bone base to better support the implant by adding bone to the area of the narrowing. Your dentist or dental specialist will tell you if a graft is appropriate for you.