Implants are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots in the upper and lower jaws. Made of titanium and other elements that are harmless to the human body, implants attach to the jawbone and gum tissue, creating a stable space to replace one or more missing teeth or to strengthen full or partial dentures.

Implants closely resemble natural teeth. They have been used for decades to replace missing teeth, thus restoring a patient's ability to chew food and improving aesthetic facial features.

According to research compiled by the American Dental Association, more patients are choosing implants to replace missing teeth.

Implant placement usually occurs in a three-part process that generally lasts a few months. In the first step, the dentist surgically inserts the implant into the jaw. A screw is inserted to keep gum tissue and other debris from entering the implant. Once the gum tissue is secured around the implant, the patient must wait three to six months, while the implant fuses with the bone. This process is known as osseointegration.

During step 2, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an abutment, the foundation for the new teeth.

In the final step, the dentist will attach a custom fitted crown to the abutment.

If you are healthy and have adequate gum tissue and bone, you may be a good candidate for implants. Ask Dr. Perlstein if implants are for you.