What are dental implants?

For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, dental implants are available.

Dental implants are titanium replacements of tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

Can anyone get dental implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to have a routine dental extraction (having a tooth pulled) or oral surgery can be considered for an implant procedure. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must continue to practice good oral hygiene and have regular dental visits.

Heavy smokers, people who have uncontrolled chronic disorders (such as diabetes or heart disease), or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering dental implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/09/2016.

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