Single Tooth Dental Implant
If a tooth has been knocked out, extracted, or has succumbed to severe decay, a single-tooth dental implant can restore the tooth and eliminate the missing space in your smile. A dental bridge can fill the gap but has drawbacks such as poor fit, the tendency to shift, and jawbone deterioration due to bone loss. However, a single-tooth dental implant restores not only the missing tooth but provides an artificial tooth root to preserve the jawbone and provide exceptional stability for a replacement crown.
What are the Advantages of a Single Tooth Dental Implant Over a Bridge?
Preservation of Adjacent Teeth
While bridges require the alteration of adjacent healthy teeth to support the bridge, a single-tooth implant does not. The implant can be placed without damaging any other teeth.
Improved Oral Health
Dental implants are easier to maintain and clean compared to bridges. Plaque buildup and gum disease are more prevalent in those with bridges due to the difficulty of cleaning beneath the replacement tooth.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacements considered permanent. Once the implant is placed in the jawbone, it should last a lifetime, fusing with it. This fusion, called osseointegration, creates a stable foundation for an artificial tooth or crown, which can last for decades with proper care.
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A single-tooth dental implant is designed and created in our office using our in-house milling machine. The result is a replacement tooth that matches the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth. No one will know your single-tooth dental implant is not your natural tooth.
Because the implant is anchored securely in the jawbone, it feels and performs like a natural tooth. Biting, chewing, and speaking feel comfortable. You never have to worry about shifting or loose dental bridges.
Losing a tooth contributes to the deterioration of the surrounding jawbone if it is not replaced. This deterioration contributes to a sunken facial appearance, prematurely aging you. A single-tooth dental implant is the only replacement that stimulates the jawbone, preventing bone loss and helping you maintain a youthful appearance.
What to Expect the Day Your Single Tooth Implant is Placed
Using 3D imaging and computer-aided surgical guides, your dentist places the dental implant, a titanium screw, into the jawbone. Our dentists are skilled at implanting the screw in the precise location for optimal support of the replacement tooth without impacting the adjacent teeth.
Thanks to our in-house milling machine, we can craft a temporary crown to place immediately on the implant while it fuses with the jawbone over the next several weeks. When the area is sufficiently healed, we will remove the temporary restoration and replace it with a permanent, customized crown made in our office. In some instances, we can place the permanent crown on the same day the implants are placed.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Single Tooth Dental Implant?
If you are in good health without dental disease such as periodontitis, you may be a candidate for a single-tooth implant. Your jawbone has to be strong enough to support the titanium implant. If your jawbone does not have sufficient mass, your dentist may suggest bone grafting to build up the jawbone before placing an implant. If your tooth has been missing for over a year, bone grafting is often advised.
Some conditions are not ideal for single-tooth dental implants. If you are an uncontrolled diabetic, heavy smoker, or heavy drinker, you may not be eligible for dental implants. Individuals with bleeding disorders should not get dental implants.
Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
In addition to the obvious aesthetic reasons for getting a single-tooth dental implant, consider how much a missing tooth can impact your ability to eat, speak, and socialize without embarrassment.
A single-tooth dental implant not only restores your smile but also preserves your jawbone. If the jawbone deteriorates, it can lead to cavities in the neighboring teeth, shifting teeth, and gum disease. Over time, other teeth will deteriorate and will be lost or removed. No other tooth replacement offers the jawbone-preserving advantages of single-tooth dental implants.
If you have lost a tooth, a single-tooth dental implant is the best solution. Our dentists can evaluate your jawbone and remaining teeth to determine the best approach for restoring a healthy smile with an implant.