Having missing teeth can change everything from the way you eat to the way you feel about your smile. Large gaps in your bite can also cause your teeth to shift, altering the way they line up — and look — in the process. If you want to restore your smile back to something you're more comfortable with, consider dental implants. These prosthetic teeth can be a durable, long-term solution for improving your oral health.
What Are Dental Implants?
Unlike veneers or caps, which primarily create cosmetic changes above your gum line, dental implants serve as replacements for entire teeth. If you've had any teeth removed down to the roots, implants can fit in their places. Each implant comprises three separate parts:The implant screw serves as the prosthetic tooth's new root. Over time, the bone in your jaw grows up around it, which is one reason why dental implants are considered permanent. The crown is the part of the prosthetic tooth that's visible next to your normal teeth. Your dental surgeon can design it to match the general tone and shape of your other teeth so it looks natural. The abutment holds the crown and sits inside the implant screw. The oral surgeon can remove this and the crown if necessary for repairs or replacement, but otherwise it stays in place.
You can have just one implant added if you're only replacing one tooth. If you need multiple teeth next to each other or a full row of your upper or lower teeth replaced, dentists can also use implant screws to anchor these larger sets.