If you are missing one or more teeth and don’t want to consider bridges or dentures then dental implants offer an ideal solution. A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows for replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn't come loose like a denture can.
A dental implant can do wonders for self-esteem, because it feels and looks like a normal tooth. Many people who were shy about smiling because of a space from a lost tooth feel more comfortable after a dental implant.
Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak, because a titanium post secured directly in the jaw holds the implant crown in place. It has an excellent success rate if done by an experienced specialist.
In some cases, there may not be enough bone to support the placement of a dental implant, or the bone quality is too poor. In such cases, a bone graft can be done. This can be the patients own natural bone which is harvested from another area of the mouth, or can be artificial bone chips which the body then converts to natural bone.
A bone graft can be done at the same time as the implant is placed, or before the implant placement.
A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants to be placed. Bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted." A sinus lift usually is done by a specialist.