A dental implant is a small titanium screw which is surgically placed into the jaw bone. It replaces the root of the missing tooth and serves as a support for your new tooth (crown) or teeth (a row of crowns also known collectively as a bridge). Dental implants can also be used as attachment or support for full dentures in cases where all teeth are missing.
This is possible due to the biocompatible properties of titanium. A strong bond is formed between the implants and the bone over several weeks or months (osseointegration), firmly anchoring them to the jaws and hence, the ability to function as mentioned.
Despite its high predictability, dental implant success in terms of integration (fusion) with your bone tissue is still not a hundred percent for all cases today. This is because not all patients are suitable for dental implant treatment. Some of the most common risk factors include severe medical illnesses, excessive uncontrolled teeth grinding, long term medications that affect healing and poor jaw bone quantity and/or quality.
You will be advised accordingly during your consultation visit after going through a thorough clinical and radiographic examination with your dentist, whom may be an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Periodontist (gum specialist), Prosthodontist (specialist in crowns, bridges and dentures) or General Dentist. Sometimes a 3 dimensional CT scan may be necessary.
However, if you are a suitable candidate and the treatment works out well, you will enjoy a set of artificial teeth replacement that most closely resemble natural teeth in terms of aesthetics and function (speech and chewing).