A dental implant is a titanium fixture or “screw” that is anchored into the jaw bone to replace missing teeth or provide an anchorage for a denture.
The titanium material that the implant is made from is biocompatible, or in other words the body does not recognize it as a foreign object. When the implant is fixed into the jaw bone it undergoes a process called Osseointegration, which means the bone will grow and fuse with the implant thus incorporating it as part of the body. Modern implants have a high tech surface design which aids and speeds up the osseointegration process and reduces overall treatment time. While in the past implants needed to be left to heal for several months before being used to support a tooth or denture, these days they can be loaded and put into function immediately.
Dental implants are hollow inside and have an internal thread, similar to a nut used to screw onto a bolt. A special attachment known as Abutment is screwed into that thread. The crown or denture can then be fixed directly to the abutment.