To begin the implant process, a titanium post is surgically placed into the jaw. Frequently, this can be done immediately after an extraction. The post will act as a permanent "root" for the implanted tooth. Once it is in place, the surrounding bone and tissue need time to heal. The bone will form an intimate bond with the titanium post. Once the area has healed, a crown is placed over the implant. However, implants can also be used to support bridges or dentures.
While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and won't ever decay. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework and dentures, because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
Implants require healthy gums and adequate bone. A patient must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants. Wearing a Night Guard is generally recommended after an implant.