Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. The major advantage to implants over other, more traditional treatments to replace a missing tooth is that the use of additional teeth is not required for support.
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 a screw is placed into the jaw bone. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has properly integrated it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach your new tooth! 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.