What is a dental implant?

Dental implants have been a tooth replacement option for almost 50 years. They are now considered to be one of dentistry’s standard therapies. Furthermore, implantology is based on a solid scientific foundation of research and experience.

A natural tooth consists of a crown and a root. A dental implant is an artificial dental root which is positioned directly in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth.

Over a period a few weeks to several months, the dental implant bonds with the bone (osseointegration). During osseointegration, bone cells form new bone around the implant. This new bone develops a firm anchor for the implant. The bonding of the implant with the bone is a prerequisite for achieving a strong foundation for the artificial crown.

After healing, the implant acquires the same function as that of a natural tooth root. Just like a natural root, implants can prevent bone recession in edentulous jawbone, compared to conventional bridge and prosthetic restorations. This means that dental implants also serve a preventative function.

To restore the crown of the tooth, a structure referred to by specialists as an abutment is placed onto the dental implant. With the aid of this structure, artificial crowns or fixtures for prostheses can be attached to the implant. The adjacent picture (right) shows an implant with an abutment and a crown attached it to compared to a natural tooth (left).

Advantages of a dental implant
  • Reestablishes function and esthetics of missing teeth
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Existing teeth are preserved
  • Biocompatible with the body