Missing teeth can cause teeth misalignments and impair your bite and speech abilities. If a missing tooth is not replaced, the underlying jawbone begins to deteriorate and weaken due to a lack of chewing activity.
Thanks to restorative treatments such as dental implants, bridges, and dentures, you can replace one or more lost teeth. You will restore your oral appearance and bite function, and you can go back to enjoying your favorite foods and laughing in public without feeling embarrassed. Among the three treatments, dental implants offer the most natural results.
Implants feature surgically fixed titanium screws adhered into the underlying jawbone of the missing tooth. The implant fuses with the underlying jawbone in a process called osseointegration, replacing the missing tooth’s roots. A single tooth dental implant replaces only one missing tooth. The implant looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth when well placed. It would be very difficult for someone to distinguish it from the rest of your natural teeth.
To be considered for a single tooth implant, you must meet specific requirements. For instance, your jawbone and gums should be healthy and robust enough to support the implant. The dentist can repair it through bone grafting if there isn’t enough jawbone. Furthermore, if you have an underlying dental condition like gum disease, it must be addressed before placing the implant.
Good oral health and hygiene are also essential to ensure successful implant treatment. Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking can prevent you from being able to get implant treatment. Tobacco products have certain chemicals that inhibit or slow down the healing process, resulting in implant failure. If you smoke, you must be willing to stop.
Generally, the single-tooth implant procedure can vary from one patient to another. For instance, one patient might need bone grafting while another might not. Therefore, the entire process may vary in treatment plans and time. Typically, the procedure involves:
If you’re considering dental implants, you should begin by visiting a dental office near you for an exam. The dentist will inspect your teeth and mouth and determine whether you qualify for an implant procedure. They will study your oral condition and history and take the necessary X-rays and images. The dentist will prepare a treatment plan and schedule you accordingly.
It’s essential to have enough jawbone for the implant to attach successfully. If the dentist finds that there isn’t enough jawbone, you’ll have to undergo bone grafting. Bone grafting involves repairing and rebuilding the weakened jawbone. A bone from another source is added to your jaw to rebuild it. On average, bone grafting takes 3-6 months.
Once you’re ready for the implant, the dentist will perform the implant placement surgery. The oral surgeon begins by injecting a local anesthetic into the gums to prevent pain during the procedure. Next, the dentist drills into the jawbone of the missing tooth and inserts the titanium posts.
If necessary, the dentist might place a healing cap to allow the gum tissue to heal correctly. After that, an abutment screws onto the implant. You’ll also get a temporary crown over the implant to facilitate the healing process. The healing process usually lasts about 3-6 months.
Once the implant fuses with the underlying jawbone properly, the dentist will place a permanent crown over the implant. It protects and strengthens the implant further.
Once the permanent crown is on, the implant will look, feel, and function just like your natural tooth. It will have color, stability, and strength like your natural tooth. When well fitted, a single implant is beneficial in the following ways:
Are you interested in single-tooth implant services near you? Contact Great Neck Dental Associates for more information.