Dental implants are necessary to replace missing teeth and are an alternative to a bridge or dentures, according to Mayo Clinic. Dental implants are permanent and are placed into the jawbone of the patient.
Made of titanium, dental implants are surgically fused into the bone, explains Mayo Clinic. Once installed, the implant does not move, make noise, decay or cause damage to the bone. Dental implants are ideal for people who have one or more missing teeth, have adequate bone growth to secure the implant and have healthy tissue in the mouth. A person should also not have medical conditions that may negatively affect healing.
There is some risk to dental implants, just as with other surgery, advises Mayo Clinic. Infection, damage to the teeth, nerve damage or sinus problems may occur due to the procedure. Patients receive anesthesia for this procedure, so it is best to talk to the doctor about risks associated with the type of anesthesia used. The process typically takes several months to complete and begins with a comprehensive dental exam and treatment plan. The treatment plan is tailorred to the specific needs of the patient and considered factors, such as how many teeth should be replaced and the condition of the jawbone. Usually, the treatment plan includes several doctors, including an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a periodontist.