Dental implants are used to replace a single missing tooth or to replace multiple missing teeth.
Dental implants are generally made out of titanium or titanium alloy. The actual dental implant can be thought of as a replacement for the root of a tooth. Typically, a dental specialist (an oral surgeon or a periodontist) will place the implant. Time is needed for healing and integration of the implant before restoring it so you can chew. For a single missing tooth, a post is attached to the implant and a crown is made and attached to the post. It looks, feels and functions similar to a natural tooth.
Dental implants can also be used as anchors to hold a denture.
Implants are also used to replace multiple missing teeth – including the patient that has no teeth at all (edentulous). For many fully edentulous patients, implants are often used as anchors to help retain the denture (implant overdenture). For patients that wear dentures, the addition of implants to retain them can help them tremendously.