If you have a missing tooth or have lost teeth, you're far from alone. In fact, you're one of over 100 million North Americans with a similar problem. Some lack but a single tooth; others are completely edentulous (without teeth).
Dentures are generally the first thing considered in connection with tooth loss. However, over time a jawbone lacking natural teeth will shrink. Dentures begin to slide, irritating gums. After a while, patients either cannot or will not continue wearing dentures. Their quality of life diminishes as they go on to become "oral invalids."
For many patients, dental implants can be almost the same as having their natural teeth back again. That's because instead of being a removable device inside the mouth, teeth implants are bridges that are permanently anchored into the jaw itself. The dental implant procedure is surgical, yes, but usually performed under local anesthesia.
The key to a successful tooth replacement is something we call osseo-integration, or the meshing together of implant and bone. Good candidates for tooth implants need jawbone ridges that are in good shape and healthy oral tissues. Then, when the implant device is inserted, a chemical and mechanical bond is formed. The jawbone actually grows into the tooth implant.
That's a highly simplified discussion of an extremely complex and technical procedure. For more details on dental implantology, contact your dental implant dentist. Or use our search form above to find one.