Dental implants are definitely a practical option. They are not, however, suitable for everyone. Healthy gums and bone are necessary to support implants, which are metal posts that are surgically placed in the bone under your gums. Also, because the placement of implants is a surgical procedure, a candidate must be in good overall health. Since good periodontal health is key to the success of an implant, smokers and diabetics may not be candidates for implants.
After a period of healing, during which the bone grows around the post, a replacement tooth, or crown, is attached to the post. Implants also can be used to secure a bridge or dentures when more than one tooth is missing.
Placing implants is not a dental specialty. So a team of dentists may be involved in placing an implant. One dentist, for instance, may do the surgery to put the implant in the bone and another may place the crown on the post.
Talk to your dentist about whether you are a candidate for dental implants. Also check with your dental insurance plan to see if the procedure is fully or partially covered.