Dental implant reality check

Are these advances in dental health right for you?

dental health implant teeth
Image: GuidoVrola/Thinkstock

Tooth decay, gum disease, and injury to the mouth can all lead to the loss of one or more teeth. The standard solution usually involves removable dentures or a fixed bridge. A newer option, dental implants, is also gaining popularity. "Implants can significantly improve your quality of life," says Dr. German Gallucci, department chair of restorative dentistry at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

About implants

A dental implant is a small titanium post that's surgically placed into the jawbone. In time, bone grows over the implant surface, and provides a base for a porcelain replacement tooth (a crown) that will later be screwed into the implant.

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