Dental implants are used when a person is missing an entire tooth. The process is quite long and requires many visits to the dentist, but if performed well it will result with a high-quality and stable dental implant instead of a missing tooth.
In order to insert an implant, a strong bone structure is needed. If the bone structure is missing or is not strong enough, additional preliminary procedures on the bone are required. Then, the root system of the future implant is installed. To replace the root a titanium screw is used, due to its high biocompatibility. It takes between 3 and 5 months for the titanium screw to integrate into the jawbone. During that time a temporary prosthesis is used, and after the titanium has integrated into the bone, a dental restoration is completed and a person has an artificial tooth with a root strong enough to endure chewing and all other functions of the tooth.
Recently, a one-step procedure has been developed. It is called immediate placement and it means that an entire implant is inserted in a single surgery. Although it is less time consuming and more aesthetically pleasing, the one-step procedure has some disadvantages. The dental surgeon has less control over the healing process and a system has to be devised that will prevent the implant being used for chewing before the titanium is strongly grown into the bone.