Sometimes a tooth needs to be extracted to resolve an infection, or due to complications from dental trauma, or because the tooth is too weak to keep.
A dental implant can be used to replace a tooth. This involves placing a titanium implant into the bone where the root was. This then acts as a foundation for a porcelain crown.
Dental implants are not suitable in all cases or for all patients but it is a valuable option to replace a missing tooth. Dental implant treatment is a significant development in dentistry in the last 40 years. Some of the original cases from over 40 years ago are still healthy and functioning well.
The success of dental implant treatment is generally very good. The key part to this treatment is to get a sound “attachment” between the bone and the implant – osseointegration. Osseointegration occurs in above 95% of cases so long as there are no underlying health problems or current smoking.
Long term, dental implants offer a good success rate but over time another 5-10% may develop some inflammation and bone loss around the implant. The risk factors for this have not been completely identified but smoking, poor cleaning around the implant, and a history of periodontal (gum) disease have been linked. Careful maintenance and regular visits with your dentist are required of these cases.