What is Single Tooth Dental Implants
Undoubtedly, dental implants have revolutionized tooth replacement. Losing a tooth from trauma, injury, or tooth extraction can leave you less confident about your smile. If you decide to have that tooth replaced, you need to pick an option that leaves you with a tooth that looks and functions much like all your other natural teeth. With a single tooth dental implant, you can be sure to regain the confidence and esthetics of your smile.
What is a Single Tooth Dental Implant?
Dental implants are considered the best option for replacing a missing tooth. A single-tooth dental implant is a fixture attached to the jawbone by surgical means. Over time, this implant will fuse with the bone and resemble the natural tooth both in function and aesthetics.
This method is as good as it comes to mimicking a natural tooth. Unlike other methods, with single tooth dental implants, there is no need for attachments to nearby teeth. The advantage of this is that it won't affect the integrity of adjacent teeth in any way.
Fusing the artificial tooth with the jawbone is achieved through a process known as "osseointegration." Most of the single tooth implants are made from titanium. This material can easily fuse with the bone without being identified as a foreign object by the immune system. With time and advancements in technology, these implants have become so successful. Today, the success rate of single tooth dental implants is up to 98%.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Most people are moving away from other tooth or teeth replacement methods like ordinary dental bridges and dentures for several reasons. Some people lack adequate bone or tooth support, and some just find these options uncomfortable. Apart from that, for a bridge to be installed successfully, it has to attach to the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. Fortunately, with single tooth dental implants, this is not the case. None of your healthy teeth will need to be prepared or ground down for a dental implant to be installed and this means less complications for you.
To be eligible for a single tooth dental implant, you must have:
- Healthy gums
- Enough bone to support the implant
- If you don't have adequate bone, you need to be a candidate for bone grafting.
- Good oral hygiene habits
A single dental implant comprises three parts. These are:
- An implant made from titanium. The implant is shaped like a screw, and it is inserted into the jawbone.
- The abutment, also made from titanium, gold, or porcelain. This part serves as the link between the implant and the crown.
- The crown can either be made from porcelain fused to metal, metal, or porcelain only. This is made to fit in perfectly with the rest of the teeth, and it is attached to the abutment.
Single Dental Implant Procedure
The process of getting a single replacement tooth involves the following steps:
Before you have the actual implant surgery, you will first go for an initial consultation. This allows the dentist to come up with a dental implant treatment plan. During this pre-implant exam, the dentist will take a look at your medical and dental history, order X-rays and a computed tomography scan of your mouth.
These scans will enable the dentist to assess whether your jawbone is strong enough to hold the implant in place. They also indicate locations of nerves and sinuses so they may not be affected during surgery, which might cause some serious problems.
You must have sufficient bone structure to allow for a successful fusion between the jaw bone and implant. If there is no adequate bone structure, the next step would be to check whether you are eligible for a bone graft. If you are a suitable candidate, a bone graft will be done before the dental implant and if not, then you might have to consider other options.
Reviewing your medical history is an essential step before you can go through dental implant surgery. There are medical conditions that can hinder you from getting dental implants. For instance, it would not be advisable for you to go through the procedure if you have diabetes, liver disease, or a severe bleeding disorder. If your regular dentist recommends another tooth replacement method, before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriate qualified health practitioner.
Dental Implant Placement
When you are ready for the implant, the dentist will make an incision into your gum tissues. This exposes the jaw bone and the dentist will create a hole which they will use to attach a titanium post that then serves as the root of the tooth. Following this procedure, you will need to wait for about three to six months to allow your jawbone time to heal and grow around the titanium post.
Once your jawbone has healed, the dentist will proceed to attach the titanium post.
Dental Crown Placement
When the abutment has been successfully attached to the root of the dental implant, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth. These will be sent to a dental lab where a crown for your dental implant is manufactured. Dental crowns are made using either a combination of porcelain and metal, metal only or porcelain only. Once this crown is available, it will be attached over the titanium post. This is the last step of the process.
How Much Does a Single Dental Implant Cost?
Dental implant cost will vary depending on the dentist who is dealing with your case. On average, a dental implant in Melbourne will cost about $2600, the dental crown would costs between $1990 to $2600 depends on the material.
Advantages of Single Dental Implants
There are several advantages why you might want to go with single dental implants instead of the other methods like dentures and bridges. Some of the advantages include the following:
- The outcome is aesthetically superior to other methods.
- The process maintenance of jawbone integrity.
- A single dental implant does not affect the health of adjacent teeth.
- Maintains the health of the gums. It does not cause pressure sores or irritation.
- There is no bone loss; hence the patient's facial profile is maintained.
- Single dental implants are high quality, easy to maintain, and clean.
- Single dental implants are very convenient. Since they are permanent, there is no hustle of removing and putting them back each day.
- The crown can be widened to fill the space.
- This is a long-term solution as implants can last for more than 25 years.
While this process is longer than other options, the results are certainly worth it. If your initial consultation shows that your jawbone isn't strong enough for the implant, your dentist will consider doing a bone graft. This process involves transferring bone from another location to your jawbone to strengthen it. If this happens to be your case, the jaw will take about four months to a year to heal before you can get the implant.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.