Regardless, either the natural tooth is damaged beyond repair or has fallen out. In both scenarios a single tooth implant replacement is the ideal solution. Unlike other alternatives, a single tooth implant will be virtually unmistakable from adjacent natural teeth. Home care will be identical – brushing, flossing, mouthwash, etc. – and best of all, mastication (chewing) and articulation (speaking) will be unaffected. With proper care and maintenance a dental implant can last for decades, not dissimilar from natural teeth.
Single tooth implants also work like an insurance policy against further bone loss. That’s because when a tooth is lost the body knows it. Over time, the body initiates what’s known as the resorption process – bone is recycled back into your body. While on the surface this demonstrates your body working correctly, there’s also a drawback. As bone is lost in the edentulous socket, structural instability can make it harder for future implant placement. Actually, annual bone loss can be as high as 1% per year and is fastest within the first six months of tooth loss.
That’s why if you’ve recently lost a tooth or fear the loss of a tooth that has become mobile, reaching out to the Centers for Dental Implants is so important. Bone loss is like a ticking clock. And the countdown begins the moment you’ve lost a tooth. It also brings patients closer to the risk of increasing complications – and cost.
A single tooth replacement starts like most dental procedures. You will schedule an appointment with our front desk staff and we will take X-rays and impressions. Once we evaluate the morphology of the edentulous area we will begin to craft a treatment plan just for you.
When you come in for your next appointment you will undergo some form of pain management with local anesthetic, sedation or general anesthesia. Then, one of our expert dentists will drill a titanium implant into your jawbone. Over the next few months, the implant and the bone are bond together to form an anchor for your artificial tooth. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement can be worn over the implant site.
After healing, a second procedure is scheduled to reveal the top of the implant where a temporary healing cap is installed. Following several additional weeks of healing you will return for a follow-up visit where your artificial tooth is placed on a connecting piece known as an abutment and topped with a custom-made crown, the actual tooth.
Once healing is complete, especially with only a single-tooth restoration it’s entirely possible you will forget you ever had an implant. The illusion is that convincing!
The Centers for Dental Implants wants to make this experience as painless and as pleasant as possible. Contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure itself or insurance-related issues.