Single Tooth Implants

Single Tooth Implants

Single Tooth Implants: The Ideal Solution for Missing Teeth

What are Single Tooth Implants?

Dental implants are a great way to completely replace a missing tooth. Single implants replace just one missing tooth at a time. The implant is typically made out of medical grade titanium, which is biocompatible with human bone, which allows bone cells to grow into the pores of the metal once the implant is inserted into the jaw bone. This process, called osseointegration, typically takes 3-6 months and, once completed, the implant will become an integral part of your smile. After successful healing, a crown can be made to attach to the top of the implant.

Why are Single Tooth Implants needed?

If you are missing a tooth, this can affect both your confidence as well as your ability to eat and chew properly. Over time, the surrounding teeth may even begin to shift out of place, causing orthodontic and functional problems. Historically removable partial dentures hooked on neighboring teeth or resting on the gums or fixed dental bridges were used to substitute for a missing tooth, which involves shaving down the neighboring teeth and placing caps on them in order to “suspend” connected “dummy tooth” like a bridge. An implant is a better option for patients because it does not require surrounding teeth to be filed down and, thus, compromised in order to replace what is missing. Likewise, implants are not removable like a partial denture, and they are made to fit perfectly in with your smile.

Who is a candidate for a Single Tooth Implant?

Most patients who want a single tooth implant can have the restoration placed easily. Treatment typically involves several appointments to ensure that the implant is placed and is healing correctly. Your surgeon will examine your mouth to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. You should have overall good health and be willing to comply with medications and post-surgical mouth care to heal from oral surgery easily and not have any bone loss problems within the jaw area. If you are found to have bone loss, a bone graft may be needed prior to or at the time of your implant placement.

What happens during the procedure for Single Tooth Implants?

The first step is to place the actual implant by your surgeon. This is done by ensuring correct placement with help of radiographs, measurements and sometimes surgical guides, by creating a careful incision through the gums and making a small tunnel(osteotomy) in the bone for the implant. The implant is then inserted and gums are covered back up with sutures that placed to seal the area from bacteria and food. Healing process begins next, which may take up to 6 months. You will be instructed thoroughly regarding postoperative medications and home care as well as diet while you are healing. You will then come back in after a few months for the abutment (metal connecting part that allows your dentist to access the implant) to be added. This is a minor surgical step that will require minimal recovery. Next, a dental crown is made by your regular dentist and placed via abutment on the implant.

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