Dental Implants

A dental implant is a “root” device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth.

Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a “root-form”) and are placed within the bone. The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. Dental implants will fuse with bone over time.

Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures. They can also be used as anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. The use of dental implants permits undirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action.

Most patients with enough bone can have implants, although individual decisions are made between you, your oral surgeon, and Dr. Thomas. Usually an x-ray and a CT-scan are done to determine if you have enough bone to place the implant and also to determine the size and kind of the implant that should be placed.