According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, about three million Americans have dental implants in their mouths. At least 50,000 Americans receive dental implants every year. Dr. Alex Yeh, general dentist, describes how dental implants help so many people.
Dental implants are a part of general dentistry, so most general dentists can place implants. Periodontists, prosthodontists, and oral surgeons can also place implants.
Implants are metal screws, often made of titanium, that act as a substitute root for an artificial tooth. Implants are fused to the jawbone. The top protrudes out of the gum line to act as a base for a porcelain or zirconia crown. They look identical to natural teeth. If taken care of properly, implants can last for the rest of your life. Just like real teeth, they need regular dental check-ups every six months. The crown often needs replacing every ten or fifteen years.
People who are good candidates for being helped by dental implants are in good health and have healthy bones and gum tissue. In order to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery, you may need to undergo more intensive diagnostic tests than a basic X-ray. You usually need to take antibiotics after the surgery.