Single tooth implants are indicated for patients who are missing, at most two teeth, but generally just one. The procedure calls for placing an implant surgically in an opening in the jaw bone, which will be made by your dentist. Once the implant has a chance to attach to your bone, it will serve as a new root or foundation for the crown that will eventually replace the missing tooth.
The crown itself looks very much like a natural tooth, and is attached to the implant to take up the space left by the missing tooth. In order for this procedure to be successful, there has to be sufficient bone in the jaw. This bone must also be sufficiently strong to support the implant. When there isn’t enough bone, or it isn’t strong enough to support the implant, it will be necessary to undertake bone grafting or bone augmentation. Another requirement of this type of surgery is to have healthy teeth and tissue in the area around the surgical site.
How a single dental implant works
The amount of time necessary to install a single dental implant and crown will depend on several factors. When the implant is being done on the lower jaw, it might be completed in as little as five months, but when surgery occurs on the upper jaw, that might take six to 12 months. It often happens that bone quality and bone quantity in the upper jaw is not nearly as good as that on the lower jaw, and that accounts for the longer period of time necessary.
In all cases however, the total time needed for the surgery and the emplacement of a permanent crown will take a period of several months. The longest time frames are always necessary in cases where bone has to be built up prior to installing the crown or restoration. The process itself involves making a small incision in the gum, in the area where the implant is to be placed.
Then it would be necessary to drill a hole in the bone, and to place the implant into that hole. Finally the incision would be closed up by stitching, and a period of healing must follow. Once sufficient healing has occurred, it will be necessary for a second procedure to be undertaken. This involves making a new incision, so that the implant is exposed.
Then a healing cap, or collar, would have to be screwed onto the top portion of the implant. This will help the gum tissue in the surrounding area to heal more quickly. Following a period of several weeks, the collar is also removed, and an abutment will be screwed into the implant for use as a crown support. In some cases, these two procedures are combined into a single process in which the dentist will place the implants, abutments, and even a temporary crown, all at the same time.
Advantages of a single dental implant
A single dental implant does offer several benefits over alternative replacement options for your teeth. First of all, it looks and functions very much like a natural tooth, and it does not degrade the health of any surrounding teeth. When a single dental implant is performed, it will have the effect of replacing the tooth foundation or root, which means the bone will be preserved better.
Dental implants integrate directly with a patient’s jaw bone, which means it helps to preserve that bone in a healthy condition. In the long-term sense, a single dental implant can be much easier to maintain than any other kind of tooth replacement option. It is also very likely that a single dental implant will retain its aesthetic appearance over the long term, as opposed to other options which may become degraded over time.
Single dental implants at the Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute
If you live in Florida or anywhere close by, and require a single dental implant, the one place you should consider first is the Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute. At that facility, Dr. Andrew Slavin specializes in dental implants, and he has a long history of performing successful surgeries for all patients who come to him. Contact Dr. Slavin and be confident that your single dental implant will be handled professionally and expertly, with minimum discomfort and a quick recovery time.