In the past, patients who needed to restore a missing tooth or even an entire smile only had the option of a structurally incomplete tooth replacement, such as a conventional denture or a dental bridge. That is, those appliances do not have any component under the gumline. They only fill in for the absent crown portions of missing teeth.
Although they’re obscured from view, the roots of your teeth play an important role in your smile’s stability. They help to anchor the jaw in place and they are also essential in absorbing the forces needed to chew tougher foods, like crunchy fruits and vegetables.
Patients who prefer to maintain a root-like structure now can turn to dental implants. These innovative modern devices are small cylinders made of biocompatible titanium, which allows the jaw bone to form a bond with it. That process, known as osseointegration, leaves the implant embedded in the jaw, much like your absent tooth’s root was.