Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a "root-form") and are placed within the bone (endo- being the Greek prefix for "in" and osseous referring to "bone"). The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. This is what makes the implant resemble the look and feel of a natural tooth. Since dental implants fuse with bone and lack the periodontal ligament, however, they will feel slightly different than natural teeth during chewing.
Prior to the advent of root-form endosseous implants, most implants were either blade endosseous implants, in that the shape of the metal piece placed within the bone resembled a flat blade, or subperiosteal implants, in which a framework was constructed to lie upon and was attached with screws to the exposed bone of the jaws.
Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures. They can also be used as anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. The use of dental implants permits undirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action.
Benefits of dental implants
Easy alignment and conformity with natural teeth: Dental implants look better as compared to partial dentures. While a casual observer might be able to discern that you are wearing dentures it is difficult to notice dental implants.
Not only do they blend will with natural teeth but being anchored to the jawbone do not come off or get loose. This also helps retain the natural shape of the jawbone and avoid sagging of face muscles making you look younger.
Freedom from uncomfortable dentures: Your speech won't be affected as it happens in case of ill fitting dentures nor would you have any problems while eating. You won’t even feel the new implant and can get on with your routine as before.
No need to get embarrassed due to missing teeth: Dental implants are also highly convenient unlike removable dentures. You do not have to worry about the dentures popping out while eating, talking or laughing. Dental implants also do not require any adhesives or clasps to stay in place as they are affixed to the jawbone.
Dental implants work almost as well as normal teeth: Often there are several restrictions on eating hard foods for people who wear dentures or crowns. However with dental implants you can eat your favorite foods without any constraints. So go ahead and enjoy those crunchy nuts you have always wanted to eat.
A long term investment: Dental implants are a life long investment which must use dental supplies and you don't have to worry about extra expenses. The implants if done correctly will not require further attention like buying adhesives or visiting the dentist for adjustments.