Single Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
There are millions of Americans who are missing at least one adult tooth. It can happen for many reasons. You might suffer significant damage or decay that can lead to the need for an extraction. A tooth might fall out because of gum disease. Losing a tooth, no matter where it is located in your mouth, can cause several major complications. If you are missing a tooth, Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry can replace it with a single tooth implant.
The Implant Post
The post is the foundation of your implant restoration. A vast majority of implant posts are made from a titanium alloy. Today, however, can also be made from zirconia, which provides a ceramic alternative for those opposed, or allergic, to metal. While zirconia does contain trace metals, it is still considered to be a metal-free implant.
The post is drilled into the jawbone in a surgical procedure. In essence, it becomes the new root that replaces the root of your missing tooth. As the bone heals, it gradually fuses to this new post. This is a process called osseointegration, and it is the process that turns the post into the stable support it needs to be to hold your new tooth securely in your mouth.
The abutment is also known as the connector. This piece sits on the gum line and functions to provide stability for the dental restoration. The abutment is typically not installed until your jawbone has finished healing and has fused properly to the implant post. It is then screwed onto the implant post and is ready for your dental restoration to be installed onto it.
The Dental Restoration
The dental restoration is a ceramic crown. This is the part that replaces the visible portion of your actual missing tooth. It is made to look precisely like the missing tooth so that you can eat and speak normally as well as smile confidently. To provide you with the most realistic appearance, most dental restorations are made from ceramic.
Will I Need a Bone Graft?
Not all patients getting a single tooth implant will need a bone graft. Bone grafts are generally recommended in the event that you have lost a significant amount of bone mass where the implant is to be placed, and we believe that an implant may not be successful without one. The size of the bone graft will depend upon the extent of your bone loss. If you have only recently lost the tooth, you might not need one.
If you need a tooth extraction and know that you want to eventually replace the tooth with a dental implant, you may be recommended what is called a tooth socket graft. This is a type of bone graft that is performed immediately after the extraction. It is a much smaller bone graft that is meant to fill in the empty socket left behind by your extracted tooth. This way, more of your natural bone mass is preserved, and you avoid the need for a larger bone graft, and an additional surgery, later on.
What if I Am Missing More Than One Tooth?
Even if you are missing more than one tooth, it is still possible to get single tooth implants. For example, if you are missing individual teeth in different areas of your mouth, you may get a single tooth implant to replace each one. It is also possible to have single tooth implants side by side.
If you are interested in learning more about single tooth implants for replacing your missing tooth, call Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry at (715) 841-9161 to schedule your appointment today.