Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace one or more missing teeth. They are the most natural-looking replacements available. They offer improved chewing function and more natural alignment than traditional dentures and bridges, and they also look and feel just like real teeth. A dental implant acts as an anchor for a dental prosthetic such as a bridge, crown, denture, appliance support or even to serve as an orthodontic supporting anchor.
The need for dental implants arises when the natural teeth have been damaged by infections, decay, or lack of saliva and they do not readily break down or dissolve into the saliva, resulting in root exposure. When the roots of these teeth are exposed, they do not readily absorb food and become weak over time, sometimes requiring the extraction of teeth. Another major problem is that some teeth do not align correctly with neighboring teeth, which require the adjacent teeth to be moved or changed in shape to compensate for the problem. Here is a related topic: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/09/health/dont-fear-dentist-visits/.
The traditional method of restoring teeth is through dentures that are bonded to the jawbone, usually with bone graft from the front of the face. This process is not only painful but it is also costly. It can take several months or years for the jawbone and graft to fuse properly and to form a lasting prosthetic tooth or teeth for the patient. During this time, a person who has had their dentures extracted may develop infections, including abscesses, in the gum area around the transplanted tooth. This can compromise the healing of the dental implants and lead to facial structure problems, especially where there is significant swelling.
For this reason, dental implants are much preferred over dentures because they can last for a lifetime and they require no removal or alteration of any part of the face. Furthermore, the procedure like at this link is much more efficient than dentures and far less painful. Since dental implants are actually a replica of a natural tooth, they closely resemble a real tooth. Once the implants have healed and the gums surrounding them have settled, there is virtually no chance of infection. Most importantly, dental implants restore function and facial symmetry which allow the patient to smile without feeling self-conscious or lacking self-confidence.
Dental implants can either be placed into a central area such as the jawbone or they can be positioned on the outside of each tooth. If placed centrally, the crown is placed directly over the remaining gum tissue to serve as the single underlying support for the crown. If placed on the outside, the crown is placed directly on top of a grafted tooth or dental bridge. Either type of placement yields effective results and can take anywhere from six to eight months to heal before the final bonding of crown and gums takes place.
Some dental implants can also be placed directly over a natural tooth or dental bridge called an abutment. When placed on the outside of an abutment, the crown functions as the only supporting structure for the dental implants. This healing process takes longer than when placing on the top of an abutment because of the time between when the abutment is filled with air and the time the crown is mounted and secured to the top of the arch. You may view here for more information.