When a tooth is lost due to decay, trauma, periodontal disease, or a bad root canal there are several options that allow you to replace that tooth and restore proper function and appearance.
A single tooth implant consists of 3 parts usually;
- The implant “screw” that replaces the root of the tooth itself
- The implant post/implant abutment that supports the new tooth/crown.
- The Crown of the tooth that is either screwed on or cemented on the post or implant itself.
Can I have a dental implant?-The placement of a single tooth implant is preceded by a careful radiographic review to establish if there is enough bone to support an implant. CBCTs are dental cats scans that can be used to help diagnose problems with either the quality or quantity of supporting bone. We can use the CBCT to actually design guides for “guided implant surgery” where we design the exact placement of the new implant root.
What are dental implants made of?
Ceramic dental implants and Zirconia dental implants are possible and are essentially the holistic dental implant of choice. There is no such thing as cheap dental implants and ceramic implants are more expensive than traditional types. Titanium dental implants are the most common and successful implants. Implants were FDA approved in 1985 and implant technology has improved dramatically. Full-size implants are 2,8mm or larger in diameter by definition. We use implants of specific lengths and widths that are sized for your particular need. Implant care is very specialized.
What are other options for tooth replacement?
There are 3 main options for replacing a missing or lost tooth. They are:
1. a removable “partial denture”.
2. a fixed bridge
3. a total tooth replacement– an implant!
A removable partial denture comes in and out, has clips and clasps that are usually metal, and some part of the partial denture will cover the inside of the mouth or palate. They are bulkier than either an implant replacement or bridges and may affect the way you perceive foods and may affect your sense of taste as well. Most people reject the notion of any dental appliance that is removable. This option costs the least.
Fixed bridges– replace the missing tooth by being attached to the adjacent one or more existing teeth. Dental bridges are effective and relatively long-lasting. The ADA statistics show that a bridge has an average lifespan of 11years. The advantages of dental bridges include the lack of surgery and some theoretical cost savings if the supporting teeth need crowns for strength on them already. Dental bridges take several weeks to manufacture and temporary bridges are often made during this time. They are harder to clean than the other options and fail primarily due to decay where they are hard to clean. Bridges in our offices are more expensive than most implant work.
A Single Tooth Implant- replaces the entire tooth without affecting the adjacent teeth and is just the size of the tooth it is replacing. It requires surgery to replace the tooth but can often be an immediate implant placement at the time of the extraction. Implants require a healing time of at least 6-8 weeks following the surgery.
Dental implant pain after a procedure is negligible. Sometimes a temporary implant tooth can be made however often a back tooth may be left unrestored for the 6-8 week healing period. This can also reduce the overall expense of dental implant care. A single tooth implant in our office is regularly less expensive and more conservative than a bridge.
How long do dental implants last?
The current thinking on this question is that implants may last a lifetime. Implants seem to be far less affected by gum disease than most teeth. Implants will not decay and seem to be about 10% less successful in smokers. Implants can and do fail at about a 2% rate. Implants fail usually early in their healing period. With proper planning, placement, and maintenance by a qualified implant dentist single tooth implants can be a potential lifetime solution.
For most of our patients single tooth implants are the clear preference over every other tooth-replacement option. Dr. Haywood is an expert implant dentist and has helped 1000s of patients with dental implant care over the past 30+years. Our office is equally capable of delivering the quality dental implant care you deserve!