Single Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants
Tooth loss is a serious issue that can be caused by one of many reasons, including periodontal disease and oral trauma. No matter how many teeth you lose, it can affect your oral health, your smile, and your overall quality of life. However, many of those who lose a single tooth tend to ignore the issue, especially if the tooth is toward the back of the mouth. Even one missing tooth can affect your chewing, your speech, your smile, and even the health of your jaw. Over time, the jawbone grows weak in the area of the missing tooth, and its shape may alter. This can lead to poor alignment, which has its own set of issues. At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we can replace a single missing tooth with a single tooth implant.
For decades, the way to replace a single missing tooth in any area of your mouth was with a bridge, most commonly a fixed bridge. This restoration is a single unit, consisting of the replacement tooth set between two dental crowns. The crowns are set over the two teeth adjacent to the space, called the abutment teeth, which then anchor the bridge securely in place. For the bridge to fit comfortably and naturally in with the rest of your teeth, we need to remove some of the enamel from each abutment tooth.
Dental implants are a fairly recent development, providing an alternative to traditional tooth replacement options. They can be used to replace any number of missing teeth, even just one. Implants consist of three major components, the implant, an abutment, and the crown. The implant is a titanium rod, which is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The bone fuses to the implant as you heal, essentially turning it into a root. The abutment is a connector, placed at the top of the implant. The crown, typically made from ceramic, is used to replace the visible portion of your missing tooth. The tooth is secured permanently in place with the use of a small screw.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer numerous benefits. Like bridges, implants restore the functions of your missing teeth, including proper eating and speech. They also restore the appearance of your smile. There are also several other benefits that implants offer over traditional bridges. Implants are more comfortable, and your tooth is supported by the implant, rather than your adjacent teeth, so there is no need to alter perfectly healthy teeth in any way. One of the biggest benefits of dental implants, however, is that the titanium rods stimulate the jawbone, just like your natural teeth, helping to preserve and maintain the health and strength of your jawbone.
How Your Single Tooth Implant Is Placed
Your single tooth implant is placed in a surgical procedure. We begin with a local anesthetic. Sedation is also used so that you can relax throughout the duration of your procedure. Small incisions are made in the gum tissue, and a hole is drilled into the bone. A single implant is inserted into the hole, and your gum tissue is sutured closed around it. A temporary crown is placed, and you are sent home to heal.
Healing from a single tooth implant can take several weeks. As you heal, we monitor your progress, making sure that the bone is fusing properly. Once you have healed, we remove the temporary crown and place the abutment. An impression is taken, which is used to design and create a custom crown. When the crown is ready, it will be permanently screwed in place, giving you back a healthy, beautiful smile.
Even just one missing tooth can have a major impact on your life. Call Oregon Periodontics, P.C. today at (503) 575-7750 to learn more about dental implants and find out if they are the right solution for you.