There is often a widely held belief that a dental implant is the actual replacement tooth itself; however, in reality, the implant is simply the titanium post which in effect is a substitute for the lower part of the tooth that is held in place by the jawbone. It is for this reason that titanium is used for the implant, as bone will actually bond with this metal very successfully.
The full replacement tooth then is made up of three parts:
1. The Crown
This is the visible part of the tooth that is made with the appearance of a normal tooth and usually made to match the shading of a patients teeth. Usually one crown is attached to one implant, however if three replacement adjoining teeth are needed, it is common practise to use two implants and place 3 crowns on top. If all the teeth on the lower jaw need replacing, then as few as four implants may be needed to hold all the replacement teeth in place. Usually, porcelain will be used to make the crown which is then fused to metal.
2. The Post
This is a post which is sued to attach the crown onto the dental implant. When fitted correctly, it cannot be seen once the crown has been placed on it.
3. The Dental Implant
This is the part which is placed into the jawbone to allow it to bond with it. This process causes a very strong basis onto which to attach the post and the crown. As the implant is made of titanium, the human jawbone accepts this in nearly all cases and there are very few instances of rejection.