Single Tooth Replacement
Missing a tooth affects more than just the look of your smile. In addition to negatively impacting your self-confidence, missing even a single tooth can be detrimental to critical functions such as chewing, eating, and speaking. When one tooth is absent, your remaining teeth shift place over time. This repositioning can lead to plaque and tartar buildup, and eventually cause tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, your bite changes to compensate for the missing tooth, causing extra impact and pressure on your jaw that can become painful.
Luckily, there are plenty of sturdy and long-lasting options for single tooth replacement. Our team of prosthodontic professionals at Central Dental Specialists is highly skilled at placing various types of implants, bridges, and dentures. We are happy to discuss the best option for your particular needs.
Dental implants are increasingly becoming the most popular solution for replacing a single tooth, due to the fact that they are strong, long-lasting, and lead to a natural tooth appearance and function when combined with crowns. The implant itself is a titanium post that is placed in the jaw, forming a sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth. Over the course of a few months, the jawbone grows around the implant, holding it in place so that it can adequately support the replacement tooth.
Implant Placement and Healing Process
The exact procedure and length of treatment depends on the type of dental implant you and our team decide is most appropriate for you. Some patients are able to have their implant and replacement tooth placed in one day, but generally, the process takes place over the course of several months. First, the implant is placed in the jawbone and a screw is secured so that no gum tissue or debris is able to enter the area. Swelling and tenderness are common after implant placement, and we may prescribe pain medication and/or a soft food diet while you heal from the procedure.
Once the jawbone has fused with the implant and the area is healed (again, the exact length of healing time will vary by patient), the replacement tooth can now be attached to the implant using a post. There are multiple options for replacing a single tooth, including crowns, bridges, or dentures. Our team will determine the best option for your particular case, and no matter which option makes the most sense, the replacement tooth will be custom-made to match your natural teeth in size, shape, and color.
Who Is a Good Candidate For an Implant?
Since surgery is required, not everyone is a good candidate for a dental implant. You should be generally healthy, and your jawbone must be able to support the implant. Our professionals will discuss specific follow-up care with you, but you can most likely expect regular dental visits and a daily oral hygiene routine, so these are items to consider. Patients with chronic conditions such as leukemia or diabetes and patients who smoke may not be good candidates for dental implants, as these factors can slow the healing process.
Advantages of Dental Implants
There are many advantages to dental implants compared to other options for single tooth replacement. They are stronger and longer-lasting than other options, and your existing teeth do not have to be moved or operated on. The combination of an implant with an implant-supported crown provides a natural appearance and allows your replacement tooth to function just like a natural tooth would.
The loss or extraction of a single tooth can have serious consequences for your overall dental health. If you would like to discuss your options for single tooth replacement, please call Central Dental Specialists at (781) 438-6618 today.