Single Tooth Dental Implants
A single tooth dental implant may be the solution when a single tooth is knocked out, extracted, or missing. Although a dental bridge is an option if you are missing one tooth, bridges have drawbacks, including poor fit, additional care requirements, and the possibility of slipping or shifting. However, single tooth dental implants offer an alternative that is permanent, stable, and preserves your oral health.
Who is a Candidate for a Single Tooth Implant?
Patients in good health with enough jawbone mass to support the titanium implant screw are good candidates for single tooth implants. Dr. Gardner examines each patient to determine if enough bone structure is present to support the implant. If he decides a bone graft is needed, the graft will be performed and given time to heal before the implant is placed. This is more likely if the missing tooth has been gone for a year or more, leading to jawbone deterioration.
Some people may not be good candidates for single tooth implants, including heavy smokers, severe diabetics, and patients with bleeding disorders. These conditions may prevent effective healing.
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Single Tooth Implant Process
Dr. Gardner evaluates each patient on an individual basis for single tooth implants. At the initial consultation, 3D imaging, a dental examination, and a discussion of the options for replacing a single missing tooth will help him determine whether a dental implant is the best option for replacing a missing tooth.
During the implant surgery, Dr. Gardner relies on advanced 3D imaging, computer-aided guidance, and his experience successfully placing hundreds of dental implants to ensure a perfect fit that does not affect the adjacent teeth. After the area has healed and the jawbone has successfully integrated with the implant, Dr. Gardner places a custom-crafted crown over the head of the implant using an abutment and dental cement to hold it securely in place.
In the past, single tooth implants took several months, with a long healing process. With advancements in dental technology and the development of new surgical techniques, it is now possible for Dr. Gardner to place the implant and attach a fully functional crown on top on the same day for many patients.
Dr. Gardner will discuss the pros and cons of both the newest, single-step option and more traditional single implant surgery with you at your initial consultation.
Benefits of Single Tooth Dental Implants
Patients who are missing one tooth often ignore the problem, telling themselves that just one missing tooth is not a problem. Unfortunately, the facts say otherwise. When a tooth is gone, the jawbone around the empty socket where the tooth root used to be begins to collapse on itself. The bone around the socket deteriorates. This deterioration can lead to the adjacent teeth shifting to fill the missing space or food debris getting caught in the space, leading to cavities, gingivitis, and infections. Patients lose about 25% of the bone mass around a missing tooth in just one year.
Other benefits of single tooth implants include:
- Ease of care – no need to remove a dental bridge; just brush and floss your single tooth implant like your natural teeth
- A lovely smile – no one but your dentist will know your implant is not a natural tooth
- A single tooth implant can last a lifetime, with a crown that lasts up to 25 years
- Unlike a dental bridge, an implant does not require grinding or disturbing the adjacent teeth for proper placement
- Dental implants prevent deterioration of the jawbone due to a missing tooth
- There is less risk of tooth decay with an implant than with a bridge, which may collect food debris and bacteria beneath the attached crown.
Do not delay seeing Dr. Gardner if you are missing one tooth. Neglecting treatment can lead to damage to or loss of adjoining teeth over time. Missing teeth lead to loss of jawbone mass and can impact the look of your face. Contact our office at North Shore Restorative & Implant Dentistry Phone Number (516) 484-6394 or use our online registration form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gardner. Getting single dental implants now can improve your appearance and protect your other teeth and gums from additional damage in the future.