Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where an artificial root is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to become part of your jaw. During this time your bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. You can have a temporary appliance so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile while the implant is integrating.
After enough bone has grown around the implant it is time to place an abutment and tooth on it. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. An impression of the is taken and is used by the laboratory to create your abutment and permanent restoration. Once the restoration is fabricated you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.