A dental implant is a metal post that creates a stable foundation for a crown
that replaces a missing tooth. It is placed directly into the jawbone, and is the
closest thing to your natural tooth.
There are two parts to a dental implant which simulate the strong holding
ability of the tooth and root. The main part of the dental implant is embedded in
the jawbone for an effect that is considerably stronger than dentures are
capable of. The second part of the dental implant is a post that protrudes above
the jawbone and gum line.  This is the part that the crown is cemented to.  

If you are replacing one tooth, a single post is all that is necessary. For the
replacement of multiple teeth, you may need to have several dental implants.
There are approximately 50,000,000
people in the United States who are
"edentulous" (literally meaning lacking
teeth) who struggle daily with
prosthetic devices. A majority suffer a
great deal of discomfort as a result of
lose or ill-fitting dentures. Many
denture wearers simply withdraw from
any type of social engagement as a
result of being compelled to wear them.
Moreover, it's not uncommon for family
members to complain about a denture
wearer's disagreeable breath as a result
of food being trapped and decaying
under their denture prosthesis.
Implants for
Crowns and Bridges
Implants for Dentures
The standard insertion protocol for Mini Dental Implants (MDI) calls for four
of them to be gently screwed into the front of a patient's lower jaw. This is a
relatively painless procedure that can be performed by a general dentist,
requiring only a mild anesthesia. The MDI, which are approximately the size
of wooden toothpicks, are placed about five millimeters apart in the patient's
lower jaw. The patient's denture is then carefully adjusted by the dentist to
allow it to snap onto the four MDI. The result? A tight fitting, completely
reliable system that allows a patient to speak and eat with confidence. The
MDI's are placed in about an hour's time. Because of the unique, minimally
invasive procedure, the minute size of the implants, and the characteristic
placement area, the typical MDI patient can enjoy a light meal an hour or so
after having the mini implants placed. Further,a denture patient who has had
his or her prosthesis stabilized with MDI can remove and replace the denture
easily after a little practice, and can easily utilize good dental hygiene. All in
all, the MDI is quite satisfying.
Dr. Keith S. West, DMD