A natural tooth has a crown – the part which shows above the gumline, and a root – the anchor hidden below the gumline. When a tooth is missing, a dental implant takes the place of the missing root and a prosthetic crown replaces the natural crown.
An implant in lamest terms is a titanium screw that serves as replacement of the root. Implants have revolutionized the field of dentistry due to its main physiological advantage which allows for maintaining the height and width of the bone after extraction. This is due to the integration of patient’ bone to implant surface. Otherwise, 50% of bone collapses within the first 6 months after extraction and continues to recede further throughout life.
When inadequate bone dimensions are present a dental bridge is the only other fixed solution without getting to removable partials. A bridge is a great option although teeth structure around the missing tooth space needs to be shaved down to allow for crown placements. Therefore implants allow for conservation of intact tooth structure and bone thickness.