Dental implants are prosthodontic appliances that are surgically inserted into or onto the jawbone. The portion that protrudes through the gingival tissue or gum can support either a single crown or a bridge. Implants get support, stability and retention from the bone or substructure underlying the gum tissue.
The first dental implants were done in 1967, and in the 38-year history of the technology implants have gained a reputation for being an effective way to restore teeth. Studies have documented implants lasting for over 30 years.
Implants have been used with increasing frequency since the 1980s and 1990s, and particularly in urban areas, numerous specialists have the credentials and experience to do the work.
Dental implants can be costly. Between the price, the idea that they are implanted in the jawbone, and many family dentists’ lack of information with the technology, many patients put off investigating implants until they have no option other than dentures. Unlike bridges that require crowning the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, a dental implant does not damage the teeth beside which it is placed.
Last updated: 16-Jun-05