For individuals who wish to replace missing teeth, dental implants may be an effective long-term solution. Implants provide greater structural support and last longer than either bridges or dentures. Implants serve as the artificial root to which new teeth are bonded. They are typically constructed of titanium, a strong and safe material that effectively attaches to bone. The procedure to insert dental implants typically involves three steps: the implant insertion stage, osseointegration (the period of healing for the jawbone), and the attachment of the restoration or new tooth.
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The most popular form of implant is the Root Implant. This type of implant is very effective and mirrors the size and the shape of a patient's natural tooth. Many times, this implant will be as strong structurally as the original tooth's root.
Another form of implant is the Plate Form Implant. This implant is ideal in situations where the jaw bone is not wide enough to properly support a Root Implant. The Plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the Root Implant, and anchors into thin jawbones.
The last type of implant is the Subperiosteal Implant. These implants are utilized when the jawbone has receded to the point where it no longer supports a permanent implant. These implants are placed on top of the bone and imbedded in the gums, but not in the jawbone as with the other types of implants.