Dental implants are artificial titanium stubs that can be fitted inside the jaw over which an artificial tooth can be affixed. The implant is a replacement for the root of the tooth, which may have undergone decay.
There are both individual dental implants as well as bridge implants for teeth. Implants can be used for individual teeth as they are not connected to the neighboring teeth, but are instead inserted into the jaw. For people using dentures, several implants can be bridged and inserted into the jaw. Once the implants are in place, the crowns of the teeth are fixed over them.
Dental implant surgery brings about a remarkable change in the life of the patient. For most people who have lost their teeth, implants can help to regain their original smiles. People with implanted teeth do not find any difficulty in chewing and biting food and, in most cases people do not notice much difference with natural or original teeth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are three major types of dental implants: artificial bone substitute implant, endosteal implants and sub-periosteal implants. Artificial bone substitute implants use a calcium substitute to fit over the jaw bone. This substitute bonds over the existing jaw bone over time. Endosteal implants are wedged into the jaw in place of the dental root. Sub-periosteal implants are specialized implants which are preferred for elderly persons who can no longer wear dentures. Sub-periosteal implants are fixed directly over the jaw bone.