09 Aug What You Need to Know About Single Tooth Implants
When many people think of dental implants, they think of people missing most or all of their teeth — like people who usually need dentures but want something more permanent. In fact, many people will lose only a single tooth at a time. When this happens, a single tooth implant can fix the gap, give you your smile back, and keep your gums and jawline healthy. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure.
Why Someone Needs a Single Tooth Implant
A single tooth dental implant replaces a missing tooth. It may have been knocked out in a car accident or sports accident, or it may have never grown in. You might have a tooth pulled due to rot, decay or a weakened tooth structure. Replacing a missing tooth with a single tooth implant serves many different purposes. It maintains your facial structure, helps you chew and eat food, and conceals that a tooth is missing at all, which may help with your self-esteem.
Before the Procedure
Prior to the implant being placed, you’ll meet with the dentist performing the procedure. They will take x-rays to ensure your jaw bone is in good condition and able to withstand placement of the implant into the jaw bone. If not, you may need a bone graft first. Your gums and teeth will also be examined. Finally, they will go over your medical history with you to ensure you are a candidate for dental implant surgery.
Once you are deemed a good candidate for a dental implant, the procedure date will be set. You may receive mouth rinses to use prior to surgery, possibly antibiotics to take and an instruction list. The instruction list will detail when you should stop taking certain medications and what time you should stop eating or drinking prior to the surgery. The list will also provide you with post-care instructions, helping you shop for items needed after your surgery.
During the Procedure
Anesthesia is given prior to an implant being placed. The amount and type of anesthesia is determined by your pain tolerance level and how complicated the procedure may be. Once you are numbed or sedated, the procedure will begin.
A metal post will be screwed into your jaw bone. This is the post or anchor that serves as the root of the tooth, holding your implant into place. While you heal, you may receive a temporary tooth so you can walk out of the dentist’s office feeling confident. Your dentist will create molds of the teeth surrounding the implant site and make a crown or tooth that matches your others in shape and size. The permanent tooth will not be placed on the post until the area around the implant post heals.
After the Procedure
After the implant is placed, your jaw bone will heal around the implant and fuse with it. The healing process varies from person to person, but generally takes a couple months. You can expect to have visits with your dentist during this time to ensure you heal properly, and make sure there are no infections.
After the healing process is complete, the abutment is placed. The gums are slightly cut back to place the base or plate on the post. This base or plate is what the permanent crown or tooth sits on. The gum tissue closes around the abutment. The area then has to heal again, which should only take a few days.
Your permanent crown is placed atop the abutment. At that point, your dental implant procedure is complete. You can resume routine dental appointments for cleanings. Of course, if you ever have a problem with your implant, you should make an appointment to have it looked at.
Have you lost a tooth or need to have a tooth pulled or removed? If so, a single tooth implant may be the perfect replacement option for you. If you want to learn more about dental implants in Mesa, give Dental Brothers a call today to schedule a consultation.