Why would you need a dental implant?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth. The goal of teeth replacement in dentistry is to restore function as well as aesthetics.
When it comes to tooth replacement, generally, there are three options:
(A) removable dental appliance (complete denture or partial denture),
(B) fixed dental bridge (cemented),
(C) dental implant.
A dental implant can be compared with a titanium rod/ screw (in layman terms) that is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone over the span of a few months. The dental implant acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. In turn, this "artificial tooth root" serves to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest thing to mimicking a natural tooth because it stands on its own without affecting the nearby teeth and has great stability.
Most dental implants are made of titanium, which allows them to integrate with bone without being recognized as a foreign object in our body. Over time, technology and science have progressed to greatly improve the outcomes of dental implant placement. Today, the success rate for dental implants is close to 95%-98%.
Dentures are the more affordable option for replacement teeth but are the least desirable because of the inconvenience of a removable appliance in the mouth. Furthermore, dentures can affect one's taste and sensory experience with food.
The main disadvantage to bridgework is the dependence on existing natural teeth for support. This involves cutting normal teeth without symptoms to use them as pillars (abutments).