Single tooth dental implants are ideal for one or more missing teeth. The implant is surgically placed into the jawbone and after it fuses with the surrounding bone, a crown is fixed to it, giving you a perfectly functional tooth that looks and works like a natural tooth.
How Does the Implant Work?
It is important to remember for a single tooth implant, you should have sufficient bone volume in the jaw, so that the bone can hold and support the implant. If the dentist finds less bone volume, it would have to be augmented before the implant is fixed. Furthermore, the surrounding teeth and gum around the missing tooth should be healthy.
The implant itself is made from titanium. It is like a screw that is placed into the jawbone. Then there is the abutment, which can be made from porcelain, titanium or gold. It is fixed to the implant with the help of a screw. It is the abutment that is connected to the crown. Finally, there is the crown, which is usually made from porcelain-fused-to-metal alloy, but it also can be made from just porcelain or metal. The crown is fixed to the abutment and the screw hole is masked with restorative material.
The Implant Process
Before the actual dental implant procedure, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your dental and medical history. In addition, he also will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. If the dentist feels there is less bone, he may perform a CT scan to ascertain this fact. If the bone is less, the dentist will suggest bone grafting or distraction to buildup the jawbone. This can prolong the procedure, as it will take anywhere from 4 to 12 months for the bone to buildup and get ready for the dental implant.
If you do not require bone grafting to increase bone volume, you will require about two surgeries. There will be a time lag of three to six months between the surgeries, considering everything else is fine and the healing process goes off properly.
In the first surgery, the dentist will made an incision into the gum and then drill a hole into the jawbone. Then the implant is placed into the hole and the cut is stitched. Once the healing process is over, you will have to undergo another surgery to expose the implant and have the abutment fixed. However, many dentists are now using a one-stage implant process, wherein the implant, abutment and temporary crown are fixed in a single visit.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
There are many types of dental implants, but most dentists prefer the root-type of implant. The implant is place in the jawbone in the space that is created by the missing tooth. Once the permanent crown is fixed to the implant you will have to take care of it just like your natural teeth. To maintain your implant and crown, it is important to brush and floss your teeth every day. Also, after the implant, you should visit your dentist every three months initially and gradually make that every six months.
As mentioned earlier, single tooth dental implants look and functional like natural teeth. However, sometimes it can be tough for the dentist to come up with an implant that looks just like your natural teeth. Also, in some patients, the implant may be placed at an angle due to the amount bone present in the jaw. If this happens, the crown may not feel like your natural tooth. Nonetheless, you will have good results.
The reason why single tooth dental implants are often the best solution for missing teeth is they are long-lasting. Studies have shown it is common for these implants to last 25 years, if not more. So, if you have a missing tooth, you know exactly what you should get to cover the embarrassing gap, don’t you?