When it comes to dental procedures, one of the most common treatments that people seek is dental implants. A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth or teeth, and it is designed to function and look just like a natural tooth. One of the most common types of dental implants is the single-tooth implant. We’ll give you all the information you need about, what single-tooth implants are, how they are done, and some common dental implant FAQs about the procedure.
What are Single Tooth Implants?
Single-tooth implants are implants that are designed to replace a single missing tooth. This is the best option for people who have only lost or damaged a single tooth, and all the adjacent teeth are healthy.
They are made up of three main components: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Over time, the jawbone will fuse with the implant, creating a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth. The abutment is a small connector that is placed on top of the implant, and it is used to attach the crown. The crown is the visible part of the implant, and it is designed to look and function just like a natural tooth.
How are Single Tooth Implants Done?
The process of getting a single-tooth implant typically involves several steps. Here is a general overview of the procedure:
- Consultation and Examination: The first step in getting a single-tooth implant is to schedule a consultation with a dentist or oral surgeon who specializes in implant dentistry. During this consultation, the dentist will examine your mouth, take dental x-rays and go over your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. They may also perform a tooth extraction if necessary.
- Implant Placement: If you are deemed a good candidate for a single-tooth implant, the next step is to schedule the implant placement surgery. During this surgery, the dentist will make a small incision in your gum tissue and drill a small hole into your jawbone. The implant will then be inserted into the hole, and the gum tissue will be sutured closed. You may be given a temporary crown to wear while the implant heals.
- Healing Period: After the implant is placed, the healing time will take several months for it to fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. During the healing process, you will need to avoid putting pressure on the implant site, eat soft foods, and follow any special instructions provided by your dentist.
- Abutment Placement: Once the implant has fully fused with the jawbone, the next step is to place the abutment. This is a minor surgery in which the dentist will make a small incision in your gum tissue and attach the abutment to the implant.
- Crown Placement: Finally, the crown will be placed on top of the abutment. This artificial tooth is custom-made to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth, so it will look and feel just like a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Does getting a tooth implant hurt?
Most people experience only mild discomfort during and after the implant placement procedure. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to help you manage any discomfort you may experience. Before and after the procedure, be sure to talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
The dental implant procedure generally takes 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. The entire process, from consultation to crown placement, can take several months due to the healing period required between each stage. During this time, your dentist will monitor your progress and make sure that everything is progressing as it should.
Do you get a temporary tooth with an implant?
In some cases, a temporary tooth may be placed when the implant is first inserted. This will allow you to eat and speak normally while the implant heals. However, if your dentist determines that a temporary tooth isn’t needed, they may recommend a dental bridge or denture as a short-term solution. Once the implant has healed, you’ll be able to get your permanent crown.
What causes a dental implant to require a bone graft?
In some cases, bone grafting may be necessary for the implant to be successful. This is typically done if there is not enough existing jawbone to support the implant or if the jawbone has deteriorated due to gum disease or other factors. During the bone graft procedure, additional bone material will be grafted onto the area where the implant will be placed. This will help create a stronger foundation and ensure a higher success rate for the implant.
Contact Us for a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about single-tooth implants and would like to find out if this procedure is right for you, contact us today for a consultation. Dr. Bergens will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, as well as provide an evaluation of your oral health to determine if you are a good candidate for oral surgery. After a thorough examination, we will be able to provide you with a detailed treatment plan and discuss your options.