A dental implant is a medical grade titanium fixture that is placed gently into bone. When the bone has united with the implant, an impression can be taken in order to provide a crown which can then be connected to the implant. The crown is connected to the implant by means of an abutment. Dental implants are used to allow replacement of one or more missing teeth.
Implants can also be used to attach a denture and prevent any unwanted movement of the denture. The denture is removed only for cleaning.
Alternatively, up to 5 or 6 implants can be placed in an upper or lower jaw where all the teeth are missing. A fixed bridge is then attached to the implants to replace all the missing teeth. The fixed bridge remains in position and is not removed.
Remember, there is nothing as good as your own tooth, but when your own tooth cannot be restored predictably, or is missing, then the nicest option is to have an implant placed and subsequently restored with a crown. In this way the adjacent teeth do not have to be prepared or reduced, as would be the case if a bridge was being placed to replace the missing tooth.