One of the most positive developments in dentistry during the last decade is the increase in the success and popularity of dental implants to replace missing teeth. In this article I intend to outline, in ordinary language, what dental implants are and what they are used for.

Dental implants are pure titanium cylinders that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw to replace natural tooth roots. The bone heals so closely around an implant that it is described as “integrated.” Once this occurs, the implant is very stable and a variety of different attachments can be connected to it.

The most common attachment is a single tooth. These are very successful and have become the standard of care to replace a missing tooth. If several teeth are missing, multiple implants can support bridges that are permanently attached. And in a situation where there are no natural teeth remaining, implants can provide greatly enhanced support and retention for a denture.

Following are some frequently asked questions and their answers:

  • Aren’t implants very expensive?
    The cost will vary depending on the situation, but it will be a significant investment. Remember that price is what you pay, and value is what you get. In most cases implants are the very best solution for missing teeth.
  • Will my dental insurance cover implants?
    Not always, but it is becoming more common.
  • Do they ever fail?
    Yes, but it is very rare and the risk can usually be determined prior to placement.
  • Who can place dental implants?
    Any dentist can place implants. No special license is required, but this is a very technique sensitive procedure, so it is important to find a doctor with the training and experience to do it well. Often a surgeon will place the implant and work with a general dentist who restores the teeth.

If you or someone you know would like more information about dental implants, I would be pleased to provide a complimentary consultation to discover if this is the most appropriate treatment.

Yours for excellent dental health,
Dr S