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Losing a tooth can have a profound effect on your appearance and ability to chew properly, as well as your emotional health. When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth can drift causing changes in your bite and increasing the chances for tooth decay, gum disease, and the loss of additional teeth. It is difficult to replace missing natural teeth with artificial teeth that have the same quality and esthetics as your own healthy teeth. One of the most exciting technological advances in modern dentistry for replacing missing teeth is the dental implant. Whether you have recently lost a tooth or are wearing dentures, dental implants may be a viable treatment option for you.
Implants can replace a single missing tooth, several teeth or secure a bridge or dentures. The implant (essentially an artificial root) is used to anchor the replacement tooth. Most implants are made of titanium metal because it is very compatible with the bone and other tissues of the body. The metal anchor is the part of the implant surgically inserted in the bone. During the next three to six months, bone will grow around the implant to keep it secured. Another procedure is then required to attach a metal post, which will then connect the artificial tooth. The physical connection of the implant into your jaw helps to restore a more natural feel and function – more like your own teeth.