Replacing a Single Tooth
According to statistics released by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one of their permanent teeth to gum disease, tooth decay, accidental trauma or a failed root canal. That translates into approximately 7 out of 10 people with missing teeth in the United States! While these statistics might sound grave, teeth can become loose, cracked, irreparably damaged and lost through a myriad of causes. Whether it was an accident, a rogue peach pit or tooth decay that saw you lose your first adult tooth; dental implants are capable of providing you with a comprehensive and long-term solution.
Replacing a Single Lost Tooth with Dental Implants
Generally, when single teeth require replacement, it is because of a localized bacterial infection, decay or accidental trauma. Since only one tooth has been affected, there is seldom need for invasive and/or expensive procedures to help improve your overall standard of oral health before dental implants can be placed, as is generally the case with advanced periodontal (gum) disease. In many cases involving the placement of single dental implants here at MALO Dental Implants, patients return home immediately after surgery and enjoy the benefits of their new, beautifully restored smiles!
What is Involved in Replacing Single Tooth with Dental Implants?
You will initially meet with one of our oral surgeons at MALO Dental Implants so that your oral and general health can be thoroughly assessed. We will then plan your dental implant surgery with the help of 3D CAT scan images and impressions (or molds) that are taken of your remaining teeth or jaws. On the day of your surgery and depending on your general health, you may have the option for oral or IV sedation should you struggle with any anxiety. Generally, when it comes to replacing a single tooth, the procedure involved is typically straight-forward and usually can be performed under a local anesthetic. The tooth socket will be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate the risk of post-procedural infection and subsequently, the titanium implant is inserted into a surgically prepared socket in the jaw at the site of the missing tooth.
In many cases, a temporary artificial tooth or ‘crown’ can be placed on the same day as the dental implant is placed. At that our prosthodontist, or your own dentist, will take over with the affixing of the artificial crown to the top of the implant’s abutment. This temporary crown is the part that is visible above the gum line and is custom fabricated from resilient material to take the place of the missing tooth.
Over the next few months, the titanium base of the dental implant will be fusing with the underlying jaw bone. You will need to closely follow the instructions provided to you by our team at MALO Dental Implants. This will ensure that your dental implant surgery is a success and your new replacement tooth remains firmly rooted in the jaw for decades to come. Once you have healed, not only will you be able to enjoy the benefits of a fully restored bite and the ability to articulate properly during speech, you will also be able to laugh and smile once again with confidence!
Looking After Your Dental Implant
In the first few months subsequent to the placement of your dental implant, the implant surface and surrounding bone will be undergoing a crucial healing period during which time a very strong biological bond is formed. This is referred to as ‘osseointegration’. As a result, if you’ve received a tooth the day your implant was placed, you will need to be careful about what you eat. Since the titanium base of the implant will be fusing with the jaw bone, eating foods that are hard and/or crunchy might put a strain on the developing bond between the implant surface and the jaw bone. This can compromise the healing process by causing unwanted movement of the dental implant prior to the biological bond forming, leading to implant failure. The team at MALO Dental Implants will advise you if and when this “immediate function” option is not in your best interest.
To properly monitor your progress, you will be required to come back to MALO Dental Implants for periodic follow up so that the oral surgeon can make sure your dental implant is healing nicely. Once healing has taken place you will be free to eat all the foods you love! Looking after your dental implant involves the same routine as with natural teeth: regular brushing and flossing, along with hygiene visits.
Dental Implants: A Final Note
If you have lost a tooth to any of a myriad of causes, then dental implants are the best way you can regain the confidence that goes with having a full and beautiful smile. We here at MALO Dental Implants proudly offer our patients the very best in cutting-edge technology and teeth replacement techniques so that, in the event that you lose one of your original adult teeth, you need not suffer with the inability to eat or speak properly or be embarrassed to smile!