A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made out of titanium that is placed in the bone to replace a missing tooth. After placement and healing, a single implant can have an abutment screwed into the implant and a crown attached to replace the missing tooth, or if an entire arch of teeth is missing, multiple implants can be fitted to attachments that allow a denture to snap onto the implants or they can be connected to form a bar the a denture can attach on to.
Pros and Cons of Implants
The nice thing about a dental implant is it is just like having your natural tooth back only it can never get decay. You can floss between it, unlike a bridge, and you can chew pretty much whatever you want. The negatives are the time it takes to complete after extraction range from 4 months to close to a year due to healing rates. Implants in general are also the most expensive form of tooth restoration, but they do tend to have the highest satisfaction rate of any missing tooth replacement.
Implant Success Rate
95-98% of dental implants are successful. However, as with all forms of man-made implanted items there is a small percentage of rejection that occurs. Generally speaking, when this occurs, the implant is removed and bone healing of the socket is allowed to occur before placing another implant in the site. The risk factors are relatively low with implant surgery.
Alternatives to Implants
Alternative treatment for single tooth replacement would be a bridge or removable partial. For multiple teeth, alternatives include a partial or denture.