WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
A dental implant is a fixture that replaces the root structure of a missing tooth. Implants are usually made from a particular grade of titanium, but ceramic implants are also available.
The implant is placed in the ideal location where a tooth is missing, integrating into the patient’s bone and serving as a strong, durable anchor for the implant prosthesis or restoration attachment. The term “dental implant” is sometimes used inaccurately to describe the restoration that represents the tooth itself.
WHAT IS AN “IMPLANT PROSTHESIS” OR “RESTORATION”?
An implant prosthesis or restoration is the structure that attaches to a dental implant and functions as the ‘tooth’. A wide array of restorations can be used to replace teeth. Selecting the right one depends on many factors.
SINGLE TOOTH REPLACEMENT
When restoring a single tooth, a dental implant is placed where the root of the tooth would be. Once the implant integrates into your bone, a crown is fabricated to attach to the implant. The crown is attached by a small titanium screw or a specific type of cement.
The crown can be made of different materials, including a combination of metal (titanium or a gold alloy), ceramic (porcelain), or pure ceramic (zirconia, lithium disilicate). No crown material outperforms the other. Material choice depends on each individual’s functional risks and aesthetic demands.