Dental Implants have been around for more than 50 years now. If you have diseased or missing teeth, and your gums and bones are relatively healthy, dental implants are usually the best option. Compared to other other solutions like dentures and bridge work, today’s latest implants are a more permanent solution with many advantages.
Rather than connect replacement teeth to existing teeth as with the older denture, or crown and bridge technique, today leading dental organizations recommend clinically proven implant systems as the standard of care for tooth replacement. Implants are a truly permanent solution. The latest implants are made with titanium or zirconium (the same metals used in joint replacements). Assuming the quality of your jaw bone is good enough to place the implant and heal normally after surgery titanium and zirconium will fuse with your bone. As you can see from the pictures, the implant is a complete replacement, not just a fixture designed to fit into your mouth. The other techniques are not as comfortable, harder to keep clean, and require more work for you and your dentist to maintain. In addition, with proper surgical technique, implant success rates exceed 95%.
Implants are conservative of tooth structure. You don’t have to “cut into” other teeth in order to place an implant, whereas placing a bridge to replace your missing tooth requires removing/drilling into other teeth in order to place the bridge on top of them. The list of advantages goes on, however, not everyone is a candidate for an implant and a proper assessment by your dentist or surgeon is necessary to determine your eligibility and success.