Dental implants provide adequate treatment with little bone loss, a study published in the Journal of Periodontology has claimed.
This challenges previous research, which has maintained that it is vital to preserve existing bone and tissue in the event of carrying out a dental implant.
Of 192 patients who had nearly 600 implants between them, after having a dental implant they experienced none or very little bone change.
Study author Dr David Cochran, who is chair of the department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and president of the American Academy of Periodontology, commented: "The results of this study help further indicate that a dental implant is an effective and dependable tooth replacement option.
"Since the patient's host tissue surrounding the dental implant largely remains unchanged in the five years following placement, the dental team can now focus on periodic assessment and treatment of other areas."
An archaeological discovery in Honduras of a mandible, dating from the Mayan era, suggests dental implants have been used since the seventh century.