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A dental implant is an artificial replacement of the root of a tooth, usually made of titanium. It is placed in the jawbone to replace lost teeth and restore their function and aesthetics. There are several reasons as to why a dental implant may be placed, including:

  1. Esthetic reasons: Dental implants can help improve a person's appearance by replacing missing teeth and thus increasing self-confidence.
  2. Functional reasons: Dental implants restore the normal function of teeth, such as chewing and speaking, which can be hindered by missing teeth.
  3. Preservation of bone structure: When a tooth is lost, the jawbone that supports the tooth can begin to shrink. Dental implants help prevent this process by stimulating the bone and preserving bone structure.

Placement of a dental implant is done in several steps:

  1. Consultation and planning: During the initial consultation, the dentist/implantologist will examine the patient's mouth and take x-rays to assess suitability for an implant. A treatment plan will be drawn up, taking into account factors such as the health of the jawbone and the location of the missing tooth.
  2. Implant placement: Under local anesthesia, the dentist makes a small incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. A hole is then drilled into the bone into which the implant is placed. After the implant is placed, the gums are sutured and the healing process begins.
  3. Osseointegration: This is the process by which the jawbone grows and bonds around the implant, holding the implant firmly in place. This can take several months.
  4. Abutment placement: After osseointegration is complete, an impression is taken and an abutment (a small connection piece) is screwed onto the implant. This serves as the base for the final crown or prosthesis.
  5. Placement of crown or prosthesis: Finally, a custom-made crown, bridge or prosthesis is attached to the abutment, restoring the aesthetics and function of the missing tooth.

Dental implant placement is a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth and improve both the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth.