Single Tooth Replacement
A Single Dental Implant is used to replace a single tooth. The dental implant has several advantages over a bridge.
When a bridge is used:
- The adjacent teeth must be compromised so the bridge can be attached. This alters two teeth that do not need to be touched if an implant is used.
- Additional stress and pressures are placed on these adjoining teeth by the bridge.
- The bone where the tooth was, will start to deteriorate because the normal stimulation caused by the root of the tooth is now gone. The bone will continue to recede throughout your lifetime.
- The missing tooth, receding bone, and the margins of the bridge are prone to providing a more favorable environment for gum disease.
The alternative is a dental implant. The advantages are:
- The dental implant stands alone, not needing support from the adjoining teeth, so other teeth do not need to be compromised.
- The adjoining teeth have no additional stress placed on them.
- The dental implant post functions much the same as the original tooth root, in that it stimulates the bone because of the normal pressures placed on it. Therefore, the bone supporting it tends to stay intact.
- Since there is no gap as when spanned with a bridge, gum disease is not the increased concern that it is with a bridge.
- An added benefit is that a single tooth implant appears exactly the same as a normal tooth. Care is the same as for your other teeth.
Steps for the procedure:
The first step is a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Snodgrass. The next step is for placement of the post. If your implant is located where others can see it if you smile, you will leave our office with a removable device that snaps in and holds a prosthetic tooth, so you can resume your normal life quickly. After a period of healing (typically 3 to 4 months), the post of your implant is uncovered, and a “healing abutment” is attached. This is a very minor procedure done as a regular office visit. Soon after this, the restoration (tooth) is placed. It will be designed to compliment your smile. When more than one dental implant is needed, several single dental implants may be possible–or another option may be more ideal for your situation. The links at the bottom of this page will provide you more information. You may also be interested in Dental Implant Questions and Answers which address many of the most common questions about this attractive and functional solution.