Single Tooth Implants
The single tooth implant replaces the missing tooth’s roots. A single tooth implant is a free-standing unit and does not involve treatment to the adjacent teeth.
If the surrounding teeth are healthy, they can remain untouched, and their strength and integrity may be maintained. The implant can stabilize your bite and help prevent problems with the jaw.
If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem.
• A gap between your teeth, if obvious when you smile or speak, is a cosmetic concern.
• Missing teeth may affect your speech.
• Missing a molar might not be noticeable when you talk or smile, but its absence can affect chewing.
• When a tooth is removed, the biting force on the remaining teeth begins to change. As the bite changes to compensate for the lost tooth, there is a risk of extra pressure and discomfort on the jaw joints, which may lead to temporamandibular disorder, also known as TMD.
• If a missing tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth can shift. Harmful plaque and tartar can collect in new hard-to-reach places created be the shifting teeth. Over time, this may lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
• Bone loss can occur in the region of the missing tooth.
The placement of an implant generally is a three-part process that takes several months.
IN THE FIRST STEP, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jaw. After approximately three to six months the implant will have fused with the bone, and is ready for step two.
IN THE SECOND STEP, the implant is uncovered and the dentist attaches a post to the implant. The gum tissue is allowed to heal around the post. Once healed, the implant and post can serve as the foundation for the new tooth.
IN THE THIRD AND FINAL STEP, the dentist makes a custom artificial tooth, called a crown. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.