Single Tooth Implant
Dental implants are screw-like posts or anchors that are surgically embedded into your jawbone to replace your original tooth root. Once your dental implants are in place, you can fit a false tooth atop them.
If a missing tooth is ruining the beauty of your smile, we at Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry recommend getting a single tooth implant.
How do Single Tooth Implants Work?
A single tooth implant surgery consists of several parts:
||The Implant: The implant is a titanium screw-shaped dental component which can be placed in your upper or lower jaw.
||The Abutment: The abutment is a connecting element which can be made from titanium, porcelain or gold. The abutment is attached to the implant with a screw and serves to attach the crown to the implant. It is shaped like a natural tooth that has been reduced to receive a crown.
||The Restoration: The crown restoration is usually made of porcelain fused to metal alloy, although it can be made of gold, silver, or porcelain as well. The crown is cemented or screwed onto the abutment.
The Implant Process
At Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, the time frame for placing the dental implant and the permanent crown can take several months, depending on several factors. In case of a traditional single tooth implant, the shortest time frame is 6 or 7 months in the upper jaw and 5 months on the lower jaw. This is because the bone of the lower arch is much denser than the bone of the lower arch.
However, if your jawbone density is lower than normal, we may need to build up the bone first. In this case, it can take up to over a year for the restorative work to be completed.
In the traditional implant method, a small incision is made in the gum where the implant needs to be placed. Using special instruments, Dr. Emerson Rowley, DMD will drill a small hole into your jaw, place the implant into it and then stitch the wound closed.
The wound can take three to six months to heal. Once you are sufficiently healed, we will make a new incision to expose the implant, and a healing collar will be placed on top of the implant. This will help the surrounding gums to heal. After a few weeks, the healing cap is removed, and the abutment is screwed onto the implant to hold the crown.
Advantages of a Single-Tooth Implant Over A Dental Bridge
A single tooth implant provides multiple advantages over other tooth replacement options, like dental bridges.
A dental bridge is supported by adjacent teeth and requires removing the surface of healthy teeth to support a cemented bridge. In contrast, a dental implant does not require cutting down natural tooth.
A dental implant serves as a replacement tooth root and prevents the deterioration of jawbone. It also fuses with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration and strengthens your bone structure. In contrast, a dental bridge cannot replace the tooth root. Therefore, some of the bone structure that previously surrounded the missing tooth will begin to resorb.
A single tooth implant also looks and functions like a normal tooth and is much easier to clean than a dental bridge. In the case of dental bridges, the cement holding the bridge can wash out, leaving the teeth anchoring the bridge vulnerable to decay.
Your new implant will look and feel like your natural tooth and require the same type of oral care. If you have a missing tooth, call us at (503) 878-7474 to schedule an appointment at us, and we will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that is best for you.