Dental implants are a better alternative to many options for tooth replacement. An implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root. Implants look and act as natural functioning teeth. One implant and a crown can replace a single missing tooth without damaging or threating the health of neighboring teeth. Read on to learn more about single tooth dental implants.
Keep Surrounding Teeth Healthy
A common treatment for single tooth loss is the installation of a tooth-supported fixed bridge. Adjacent teeth must be ground down to support the cemented bridge. Alterations to neighboring teeth aren’t necessary with a dental implant. An implant will replace the tooth root, which aids in preserving the bone. Implants integrate with the jawbone, helping to keep it healthy and intact. When a bridge is used, the bone that used to surround the tooth deteriorates.
Easily Maintain Cleanliness
Long-term, a single implant is more aesthetically pleasing than other tooth replacement options. Gums can recede around a bridge, exposing the bridge’s metal base and collar. This defect is highly visible. Resorbed bone underneath the bridge can lead to an unattractive smile. Dental implants are also easier to keep clean than a bridge. The cement holding a bridge in place can wash away. This allows bacteria to collect and causes the adjacent teeth that are anchoring the bridge to decay.
The first step in the implant procedure is to place the implant, which looks like a screw, into the jaw. It takes from two to six months for the implant and the bone to bond together and form an anchor for the artificial tooth. A temporary tooth can be worn over the implant site during this time. The second step of the procedure is to uncover the implant and attach an extension, or temporary healing cap. This completes the foundation on which the new tooth will be placed. After this, the gums are given a couple of weeks to heal, and then a replacement tooth, or crown, will be created and attached.
University Associates in Dentistry serves the Chicago area as a leader in placing dental implants. We also provide cosmetic dentistry, permanent denture replacement, restorative dentistry, and more. If you are in need of a single tooth replacement or any other dental procedure, give us a call at (312) 704-5511 to make an appointment.