Traditional dentures have long been one of the most popular methods of replacing missing teeth; however, many patients find the increased stability and other benefits of implant supported dentures attractive. These function similarly to traditional prosthetic teeth, with a few key differences. Traditional dentures are fitted to a patient's gums and held in place by adhesive.…
Process of Placing a Single Tooth Implant
Tooth implants are there to save the day when a tooth falls out or is knocked out of place due to trauma. Losing a tooth can deal a blow to confidence, as the appearance of your smile can take a turn for the worse. Tooth loss is embarrassing, painful and worrisome, and single tooth implants can restore the appearance of the smile and the functionality of the bite.
What can happen after tooth loss?
As soon as one week after tooth loss, negative changes can begin to happen in the mouth. Teeth can be lost for a number of reasons: injury, tooth decay, old age, poor dental hygiene or advanced periodontal disease. The surrounding teeth can start to move toward the space, attempting to fill it. At this point, the upper and lower teeth no longer match up, leading to loss of correct bite force.
Before this happens, a single tooth implant can be used to fill that space. Tooth implants are special in that they utilize the jawbone for support, much like natural teeth. For example, dental bridges use other teeth for support, leaving the jawbone underneath to shrink away. Tooth implants, therefore, will keep the jawbone intact, preventing further tooth loss. A shrunken jaw can also cause a sunken facial appearance that makes a patient appear much older than they actually are.
First, the dentist will determine if there is sufficient jawbone in the area to support an implant. If there is plenty of jawbone available, the surgery moves forward. If not, bone grafting procedures may first be employed to build up the bone volume before an implant is placed. Bone grafting requires taking a small piece of either synthetic bone or bone from a different part of the body and placing it in the area to build up volume.
On surgery day, the oral surgeon will insert the post (a screw-like rod that acts as an artificial tooth root) into the jawbone. A temporary crown is then placed on top of the post while the implant fuses with the jawbone in a period of about six to nine months. Tooth implant posts are made from titanium, a unique metal that is able to fuse with living bone.
Finally, once the osseointegration process is complete, the implant can bear weight. The temporary crown is removed, and a custom permanent crown is fixed onto the implant. After this point, the implant can be used just like a natural tooth.
Implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Keep the implant clean, avoid using it as a tool (to open packages, for example) and keep the surrounding gum tissue and teeth clean to ensure a tooth that lasts for as long as possible. Although the implant itself is synthetic and not susceptible to bacterial attack, the surrounding gums and teeth are still vulnerable. Brush and floss just like one would a natural tooth.
Restore your smile with a single tooth implant
Single tooth implants are the gold standard when it comes to tooth replacement. Get your smile back with a tooth implant. Call our office today to set up an appointment and get your smile back.
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