What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are posts, made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing.  The titanium post function as a tooth root substitute. The bone bonds to the titanium surface of the implant, creating a strong foundation for the artificial tooth or teeth. There is a small abutment or post that is attached to the top of the implant which allows placement the crown or cap that looks like a real tooth. See figures A and B for a description of the implant and its components.

Figure A

Figure B

Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

Dental implants come in different widths and lengths depending on the tooth it is replacing. Wide diameter implants are used for molar teeth while smaller diameter implants are used for front teeth.

Top View of Model of Two Different Width Implants
Molar (green) and Bicuspid (blue) Teeth.

See The Advantages of a Dental Implant

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure