Single Tooth Implant
Replacing a Missing or Failing Tooth with a Dental Implant
A dental implant is the modern standard to replace a missing or failing tooth. If you’re missing a tooth or one is severely damaged, you’ve probably experienced one or more of these issues:
- Difficulty chewing food. With a tooth missing from your mouth, you may find chewing food to be difficult and uncomfortable.
- Shifting of adjacent teeth. A missing tooth can cause otherwise healthy adjacent teeth to be negatively impacted due to shifting of teeth over time.
- Gum disease, poor dental hygiene, and bad breath.
- Bone loss. When a tooth is missing from the mouth, your body naturally tries to heal itself. Unfortunately, this natural healing process causes bone resorption.
- Avoidance of talking or smiling. Those missing a tooth in a prominent place in their mouth often avoid talking or smiling when around others.
For those missing a single tooth, there are two common treatment options:
- A traditional tooth-supported bridge (3-unit bridge)
- An implant-supported crown
Results of a Traditional Tooth-Supported Bridge
When a tooth-supported bridge is used to replace one missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are cut down or ground down into pegs so the bridge has a support system. This process destroys natural enamel and tooth structure but is necessary in order to fit the new cemented bridge in place. Even though a 3-unit tooth-supported bridge can be functional for many years, the compromised teeth (those teeth cut down to support the bridge) frequently develop decay, periodontal bone loss, or will need root canal treatment. This often leads to problems that are more expensive and complicated to treat later.
This is why dental professionals encourage the use of a dental implant to replace a missing tooth instead of a 3-unit bridge. A dental implant is the solution that will last for years to come.
Learn about replacing a missing tooth by watching this short video:
Benefits of Replacing a Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant
An implanted-supported crown is far superior to a traditional tooth-supported dental bridge. Here’s why:
- A long-term solution. A dental bridge may have a more affordable upfront cost, but it’s not a permanent tooth-replacement option. Often, bridges need to be maintained and even replaced throughout your life, which can be more costly down the road. Dental implants have a 97% success rate, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.
- Standard of care. Dental implants are recognized as the “standard of care” today for missing teeth because the jawbone will bond with the titanium implant and provide a strong base for the new crown. The result is a stable and strong replacement that looks, feels, and functions just like natural teeth.
- Preservation of surrounding teeth. Your adjacent natural teeth will be preserved with a dental implant rather than being ground down and destroyed from a bridge.
- Ease of care. Since a dental implant functions like a natural tooth, you simply need to care for it like you would for other natural teeth with good daily oral hygiene.
Replace one tooth with an implant-supported crown and preserve the integrity of all adjacent teeth.
Single Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant team at Dental Associates will ensure you feel comfortable and understand the procedure each step of the way.
- Consultation and treatment planning. The procedure to replace a missing tooth with a single dental implant can differ depending on your individual case, and our team will work with you to determine the best plan of care for you.
- Implant placement. A single dental implant is a relatively minor procedure that typically only requires local anesthesia. During the procedure, one titanium fixture will be placed in the jaw leaving surrounding natural teeth intact.
- Recovery time. After your dental implant is placed, the healing and recovery time can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on how your body responds and the state of your current health. This time allows the implant to integrate into the bone. You’ll likely see the dentist that placed the implant a couple of times for postoperative checks. Once your implant is fully integrated into the jawbone, you’ll see your regular dentist or a prosthodontist to then have the implant restored by placing an abutment and a crown.
Single Dental Implant Cost
The cost of a single dental implant is determined by your individual case; some cases are more straight forward while others require an extraction and/or bone grafting, which impacts the final cost. Another factor that determines the cost of a dental implant is your insurance coverage. Dental insurance covers implants at different levels, and we may be able to offer additional savings through CarePlus supplemental insurance.
Overall, it’s important to remember that a dental implant is an investment in your future: it will improve your overall oral health, your quality of life, and your confidence for years to come.