A tooth implant is a hard plastic component that interfaces with your gums or bone to support a tooth or denture, as well as acting as an anchor for a fixed dental prosthetic including a bridge, crown, denture, or orthodontic crown. It is placed directly over your existing tooth or teeth and fused into the bone by a procedure called osseointegration.
This procedure allows a composite material – usually polymethylmethacrylate – to fuse with your bone. Once the tooth implant is in place, your dentist will fill and maintain the implant with various materials, including tooth-colored resin, dental composites, or an approved antimicrobial agent. In most cases, you will need to visit the dentist every 6 months to 1 year to have the prosthetic replaced if it becomes damaged. Missing teeth can also be replaced by a tooth implant, but this option is usually chosen after your natural tooth has healed.