Dental implants are posts that support replacement teeth. They fit directly into your jawbone and hold false teeth in place in the same way that roots support natural teeth.
A dental implant is a metal post that has an internal screw or clip (abutment) that holds a false tooth (or teeth) in place. Implants are usually made of titanium. If you look after your implants properly and maintain good oral hygiene, they should last for the rest of your life.
After surgery to insert the implant your jawbone will fuse with the titanium rod. This takes several months. Dentures, crowns or bridges can be attached to the implant to replace your missing teeth. A single implant can support one or
more replacement teeth. To replace all your teeth would require at least six implants in your upper jaw and between four and six in your lower jaw.
Having dental implants will involve at least one operation. You need to have healthy gums and your jawbone needs to be strong enough to hold the implants. Some dentists won’t insert dental implants if you smoke as it can affect the outcome of the treatment. Implants are also less likely to be successful if you have had radiotherapy. More research is needed into whether medical conditions, such as diabetes or osteoporosis, affect how well implants work. However, you’re unlikely to be offered implants if you’re taking medicines called bisphosphonates (used to treat bone diseases).
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