Single Tooth Implant
You might think one single missing tooth, especially a back tooth that is not easily seen, is no big deal. The truth is, however, that even a single missing tooth can have a significant impact on your life. It can affect your ability to eat properly. Food may get stuck, which can promote gum disease. The adjacent teeth can shift from their positions, altering your bite, which can lead to other oral health issues. Traditionally, a bridge has been used to replace one missing tooth. At Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona, we offer an alternative: single tooth implants.
What Is a Bridge?
Traditionally, a bridge was used to replace a single missing tooth. A bridge is a dental appliance that “bridges” the space between two healthy teeth, filling the gap left behind by a missing tooth. Two crowns surround a pontic, or false, tooth. The crowns anchor onto the two adjacent teeth, holding the bridge firmly in place. Before the bridge can be placed, however, the adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth, need to be trimmed down (or prepared) so that the crowns can fit over them, creating a comfortable, natural fit.
What Is a Single Tooth Implant?
A single tooth dental implant is the newest option for replacing a missing tooth. The implant is a titanium rod that is surgically placed into your jawbone. As you heal, the bone and rod fuse together, creating a stable “root,” which then supports your false tooth. Once in place, your smile will be complete, and no one will be able to tell that it’s there.
Before you receive your implant, you must first have a consultation. This consultation includes a complete oral exam and x-rays, which will help to assess the condition of your jawbone, allowing us to determine if the implant is your best course of action. If so, we proceed with the implant.
Before we place the implant, we will administer a local anesthetic. We can also provide you with a sedative so that you will be comfortable throughout the duration of your procedure. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, we make an incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone. A hole is drilled and the titanium rod placed. Your gums are stitched closed around the implant. A temporary crown is placed to hold the space.
Healing from surgery takes approximately 6 weeks, although it can take longer. While you heal, we will monitor your progress. Once the bone has fused with the rod, we place an abutment on the implant and take an impression, which is used to create your permanent tooth. When it is ready, we will secure it in place on the abutment.
Advantages of an Implant Over a Bridge
Technology is constantly evolving, improving on older techniques. The implant is an advancement over bridges and offers a couple of advantages. One advantage is that your adjacent teeth remain fully intact. There is no need to shave them down to make room for the implant.
Another advantage of a single tooth implant over a bridge is that the rod imitates the root of your natural teeth. This helps to stop the bone loss associated with tooth loss. Even though a bridge holds your natural teeth in place, it does not stop bone loss, which can affect the abutment teeth later down the line. This is not an issue with an implant.
Don’t ignore a single missing tooth. Contact Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona today to find out if you are a candidate for a single tooth implant.