Single Tooth Dental Implants
If you are part of the millions of Americans who are struggling with tooth loss, then you probably have given much thought to the possibility of getting a dental implant to replace the missing tooth. Dental implants are growing in popularity, with a half million people electing to get them done every single year. There is a good reason that they are so popular, too. They are more durable, long-lasting, and reliable than other restoration options, making them a great choice for many of the patients that we here at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry see in our office.
What is a Single Tooth Dental Implant?
While dental implants have been around for decades, they only recently have started to grow in popularity. That means that there is still quite a bit of misinformation about them out there, and in turn, many people may be uncertain about what a dental implant is. Some common concerns about dental implants may include questions about their safety, reliability, and effectiveness.
Dental implants are quite safe. Getting a dental implant is a very routine and straightforward procedure, and it can often be performed in our office under local anesthetic (usually lidocaine). That means that the patient can be awake and alert during the procedure, but not experience any discomfort throughout it. Anxious patients may benefit from inhaled sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or intravenous (IV) sedation.
A single tooth dental implant is made up of three parts. The first part is the implant post, which is usually made out of titanium. Titanium is used in dental implants not only because it is durable, but also because the body does not reject it. Other metals can be rejected by your body, but with titanium, your bone starts to build up around the implant post. This process is called “osseointegration” and is key to the success of the implant.
The next part of the dental implant is called the “abutment”. The abutment is a connector piece. It joins the titanium post to the third and final part of the implant, the restoration itself. The restoration is called the “crown,” and it is the part of the dental implant that looks just like a real tooth. Porcelain is a popular choice because it is strong and looks and feels just like a natural tooth.
What are the Benefits of a Single Tooth Implant?
There are so many advantages to getting a single tooth dental implant! The benefits of them are numerous and greatly exceed the advantages of other types of dental restorations. One fantastic thing about dental implants is that they are a permanent restoration option. Other types of restorations are prone to failure and need to be replaced after a few years. With a dental implant, a patient can expect the implant to last them the rest of their life. Dental implants have a remarkably high success rate, at 98 percent, making them a durable and dependable restoration.
A single tooth dental implant can also significantly improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. This is an immediate and tangible result and one that patients are very happy to experience. Dental implants can also make it easier for a patient to enjoy their favorite foods. Unlike dentures, which can come with restrictions on a patient’s diet, a patient can eat all of their favorite foods without hesitation with a dental implant. Dental implants can fully restore a patient’s bite force.
A dental implant can make it easier for a patient to speak clearly, as well. Tooth loss can cause speech impediments, making it harder to talk. By placing a dental implant, the ability to talk is restored. Patients also find that they are experiencing less discomfort when they try to bite or chew, as their remaining teeth are not overcompensating for the missing tooth. Not only does this improve the patient’s comfort, but it can also help protect the remaining teeth and help prevent them from becoming lost.
Dental implants are also quite easy to maintain. Unlike dentures, which need to be removed to keep clean, a single tooth dental implant can be cleaned just like a patient’s natural teeth. No special toothbrushes or creams are needed.
How to Take Care of a Single Tooth Dental Implant
Taking care of a single tooth dental implant is as simple as taking good care of your natural teeth. You will need to continue to practice good oral hygiene to avoid complications such as peri-implantitis, which is a type of gum disease that can occur at the site of a dental implant.
To take care of your dental implant, you will need to brush your teeth twice per day. Use a fluoridated toothbrush and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make sure you brush your teeth for two minutes each time you brush. After you are done brushing your teeth, you need to floss them. Floss your teeth once per day. To floss, you will first begin with an 18-inch piece of floss. Clean between each tooth and up beneath the gumline. Use a clean section of floss per tooth to help avoid spreading germs around.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
A good candidate for a single tooth dental implant is a patient who is in good oral health and does not have active gum disease. If gum disease is present, it may need to be addressed first. We do not recommend dental implants for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A patient must have adequate bone mass in their mouth to support the dental implant. Not having enough bone mass may not disqualify them, however.
They may be able to get a bone graft to help build up the bone mass and allow the patient to get the implant. Finally, we advise that a patient avoid all tobacco products if they are interested in dental implants. Smoking has been demonstrated to lead to an increased risk of implant failure.
Getting a dental implant can be a life-changing event. It can help improve a patient’s quality of life, leading to more happiness and an easier smile. If you are interested in learning more about why dental implants are a great restoration option, or you are interested in scheduling an appointment with us to determine if you might be a good candidate for them, please give us here at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry a call today at (818) 748-9998 today!