Single Tooth Replacement
What are Single-Tooth Implants?
Single tooth implants are meant for people missing one or more teeth. We make an opening in the jawbone, then surgically place a titanium implant inside it. Once it integrates with the jawbone, it acts as a new root for the crown that we will place on top of the implant to fill the hole left by the missing tooth. The crown will look exactly like one of your regular teeth.
Who Qualifies for Dental Implants?
You must have enough bone in your jaw for us to perform this procedure, and the bone needs enough strength to support the implant. If you don’t have enough bone, we may need to add more through a procedure known as bone grafting. Also, it would help if you had healthy teeth and gum tissues adjacent to where we’ll place the implant.
What is the Procedure for Dental Implant Surgery?
Traditionally, patients underwent two surgical procedures with 3-6 in between them. In the first procedure, we make a small incision in the gum where the implant will go. We drill a hole into the jawbone, place the implant inside it, and stitch the incision shut.
Once the healing period ends, we perform the second procedure wherein we make another incision that exposes the implant. Next, we attach a healing cap to the top of the implant for a few weeks. This aids the healing process of the surrounding gum tissue. After we unscrew the healing cap from the implant, we screw on an abutment that will support the crown.
For the longest time, patients who wanted dental implants underwent two procedures, but a one-stage procedure is now also available. In this one-stage procedure, Shaun B. Rai DMD places the implant, abutment, and crown all in the same visit.
How do I take care of my Dental Implants?
You take care of your dental implants just as you do for your normal teeth. Namely, brush and floss them twice a day and come in for check-ups once every six months. If you experience any complications, come in and see us before that.
Are there any Possible Complications that can develop?
Surgery for dental implants involves certain risks. For example, when drilling through the upper jawbone, there is a danger of penetrating one of the sinuses above the upper teeth, which could lead to infection. We avoid this by taking X-rays before surgery to find where your sinuses and nerves are.
Implants also run the risk of failing if you develop an infection or if your bite doesn’t align properly. Grinding your teeth also puts much pressure on your implant, which can lead to bone loss and cause the implant to break. Chewing hard objects such as ice may also damage the implant, so you should avoid doing this.
What can I expect from my Implant?
Your single-tooth implant will work and look just like the rest of your teeth. Some patients will have complications, however. Occasionally it is difficult to get the implant to look like your regular teeth. Sometimes we have to insert the implant on an angle in the jawbone rather than straight due to the amount of bone you have and the amount needed to place the implant properly.
We can also make wider crowns to close gaps more effectively. Studies have shown that dental implants can last up to 25 years if they are properly cared for.