Single Tooth Replacement With an Implant
If you have lost a tooth, or need to have a tooth removed, replacing the tooth with a dental implant is best, it will feel like a natural tooth and won’t disrupt the health of neighboring teeth. Dental implants are increasingly becoming more commonplace in dentistry, this is because they feel natural, look normal, and have the highest rate of long term success of any other dental restoration. Working with our staff at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can walk you through the treatment process and answer your questions. A single tooth replacement with a dental implant allows you the freedom to forget that the tooth was ever lost.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a rod that we surgically place into your jawbone to serve as a new dental root of a lost tooth. These rods resemble a screw in both size and shape, and like a screw, they come in various widths and length depending on the work being done. One end is threaded; this is the portion that is sunk into the bone. As the bone heals, it grows around the threaded rod creating a firm hold.
The other end has a head that is designed to attach a dental prosthetic to, this may be a dental crown for a single tooth replacement, but you can also attach a dental bridge, partial denture or even full denture. Dental implants are traditionally made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that is strong yet lightweight. Titanium is the metal of choice by all surgeons and used for surgical repairs throughout the human skeleton. If you are concerned about metal, we also have acrylic zirconia implants available, they are white in coloring and also biocompatible.
Dental Implant Surgical Process
Placing your dental implant is a minimally invasive procedure performed in our office. Much of the work is done in planning. We will review your oral structure with 3D images, noting the density of the bone available and mapping the precise positioning that is best for the implant. Many patients will require a simple bone graft procedure before placement; bone grafting is a quick step but will require time for healing and growth.
With adequate bone available, we can then proceed. Your implant surgery begins with ensuring your comfort. Most patients find a local anesthetic to be sufficient, but we also offer a range of conscious sedatives. Once the patient is comfortable, we open the tissue to expose the bone. Take a specialized drill to create space in the bone and then sink the post into the space. We then suture the tissue closed. As with any surgery, we will review symptoms to be aware of, such as excessive bleeding and indications of infection. The soft tissue will heal within a few days, but the bone will take several months.
When the bone and implant seem to be firmly fused, we can then customize and attach your dental prosthetic. Patients who are seeking the replacement of a single tooth will have a dental crown placed over the implant.
Learn more about the dental implant surgical process.