An implant can be used to replace almost any missing tooth. Many patients prefer implants because they are a lasting solution to the problem of a missing tooth. Patients need to remember that if a missing space(s) is not filled, the teeth surrounding the space are likely to drift. This leads to further unwanted changes in your mouth including bone erosion, changes in your bite, and perhaps even changes in your speech. While implants were once a rare choice, they have become a cost-effective and popular option for patients.

Implants are designed to replace the root of a missing tooth and can be used to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. The root-form implant is the most common type and basically consists of three main components:

  1. Implant screw – This part of the implant is made of titanium and is surgically placed in the bone. Titanium is accepted by the body extremely well and fuses with the bone (called osseointegration) during the healing process.
  2. Abutment – This is a metal collar that attaches to the top of the implant screw and is the base for a crown, bridge, or denture.
  3. Crown - The crown is the manufactured tooth that fits on top of the abutment. Bridges and dentures can also be secured to the abutment. The placement of the crown, bridge, or denture is the final step of the implant process.

The dentist will discuss with you whether you are a good candidate for a successful implant. I can refer you to an oral surgeon to place the implant in your jaw, and then I will create and place a crown for you. It is important to have a plan for the crown before having an implant placed to make sure that the implant is placed properly in the space to allow for a crown.