A typical dental implant is an artificial dental root - a titanium screw that mimics the natural root of a tooth. It is placed onto the jaw bone by the dental surgeon. Titanium is a bioinert material and does not cause allergy. There are numerous implant systems available on the maket. Astra Tech, the Swedish system is amongst the leading implant systems and is used in our surgery.

The term dental implant therefore always refers to the above mentioned screw in the bone. To select the best place to fit the implant, patient is required to take a panoramic image (ortopan) and/or dental CT scan of the upper and lower jaws. Once it has been fitted, the jaw bone develops around the implant, making it more solid (osteo-integration phase). The dentist can then fit a bridge, a crown or a denture onto the dental implant which will allow mastication as with a natural tooth.

Fitting of the implant is performed under local anaesthetic. Advantages of dental implants are:
- reconstruction of missing teeth without cutting into the healthy teeth either side of the teeth to be replaced
- allow for the stability of the denture under the less favourable anatomy
- allow the bridge to be fitted when the denture induces a vomitting reflex