Dental implants are the latest gift of modern technology and dental science for those people who are missing one or more of their teeth. As per data present on the website of American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over three million (the data on AAID website is correct for year 2006) Americans have already got implants in their mouths. Due to an increasing demand for dental implants, majority of dentists in USA have started providing dental implant services. Per an estimate, the combined US and European market for dental implants is estimated to reach $4.2 billion by year 2022. So, what are dental implants and why are they so popular? Let’s dive into the world of implant dentistry.
A dental implant is like a tooth root – albeit an artificial one – which supports a tooth or several teeth. It is a cylinder shaped metallic post – made of titanium alloy, to be exact – which has threads on one end. This post is screwed into the jaw bone at a carefully evaluated location and angulation. At the other end, which remains outside the jaw bone, an abutment is attached to the implant which supports a prosthesis. The abutment may be attached onto the exposed end of the implant like a small screw, or in case of mini-implants, it can be a ball structure pre-fitted to the implant. The screw and the abutment are not visible. Only the tooth, or teeth supported by the implants are visible. Teeth supported on implants get their support directly from the jaw bone through the metallic structure, and hence, are as firm. There is no question of the implant coming loose under normal eating conditions.