Single Tooth Replacement
If you have a non-restorable tooth that needs to be extracted or an empty space in your smile from a missing tooth don’t worry – we can help! Dental implants are a wonderful option to replace missing teeth – they look, function, and more importantly, feel just like natural teeth.
Dental implants are titanium “roots” that are placed into the jawbone by your oral surgeon. After a period of healing, in which the implant has time to fully integrate into the bone, your dentist places a crown onto it and “voila” – a new tooth!
Prior to the development of dental implants the only methods of replacing teeth were either removable or fixed dentures. A fixed denture is also called a bridge. To make a bridge the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be ground down so that crowns (or caps) can be placed over them. The advantages to doing a bridge is that it can be done very quickly – often within a period of several weeks. The disadvantages are that two natural teeth must be prepared (or ground down) for crowns, they can be a hassle to keep clean and require special attention when flossing, and can still experience decay. Removable partial dentures (sometimes called flippers) can quickly replace missing teeth but have to be taken out of the mouth every night and can be very difficult to eat with. With both of these options there is also a gradual loss of bone over time from the site of the missing tooth. Think of bone as a “use it or loose it” quantity – if it is not being used for support of tooth roots it tends to melt away over time, leading to a variety of other health problems.
Implants are a fantastic option in that they truly do function as a natural tooth. Our jaw bones love titanium and our bone cells grow into and around the implant’s structure until it is truly “one with the bone” – a process called osseo-integration. Because the implant is functioning as a tooth root it helps to maintain the bone of your jaw. In addition the implant will not move, is often stronger than natural teeth, and will not decay.
Contact our offices to discuss what options are best for your single tooth replacement.