In the early 1950s, a Swedish Scientist, Per-Ingvar Branemark observed that titanium metal could bond with bone. His team then developed titanium screws that can be used to replace the root of a missing teeth. These screws are called dental implants. Millions of people throughout the world have had missing teeth replaced by dental implants.
A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. When fully integrated to the bone, an abutment is attached to the implant and a crown, bridge or denture is then placed over the abutment to replace the one single tooth or the complete set.
Your dentist will assess the state of the bone in your jaw. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may be possible to place implants by grafting bone into the area first.
An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about. But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.
A single implant can replace a single missing tooth. However, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.