Implants are one of the most advanced tooth replacement systems ever devised. If Implants are a choice in your treatment planning, Dr. Bogg and her dental staff will always explain in detail the process and discuss in detail all your concerns.
Although it is best not to lose a tooth, things happen and implants are a really good way to replace them. Replacements of missing teeth is best done as soon as possible after they are lost. If too much time passes, neighboring teeth can drift into that space and the bone which was holding the original tooth can shrink.
A dental implant is a metal post placed in the jaw where the tooth is missing. The bone around it is then allowed to grow into it. This is called integration of the implant to the jaw bone and usually takes a few months. Once integrated, a support (abutment) and tooth (restoration) can be fabricated onto the implant. They look and feel very close to the normal tooth.
When teeth are removed, the alveolar bone (bone around the roots of the teeth) shrinks (over a period of time) since they don’t have to hold the teeth any longer. This process can be prevented because implants preserve the jawbone. Implants are a long term solution and will never decay. However, implants can get gum disease (peri-implantitis) and have to be maintained with regular professional cleanings and good home care.
Healing time varies by patient and depends on the overall health of the patient and type of restoration being done.