A smile should be a simple gesture, but when you have noticeable gaps thanks to missing teeth, it is easy to understand why someone may be reluctant to share their grin. Unfortunately, missing teeth are a very common occurrence and whilst they are usually lost or extracted as a result of dental decay or advanced gum disease, sometimes they are subjected to trauma and become damaged or fall out. Whatever the reason why you have a gap where a missing tooth should be, you are undoubtedly feeling the effects of the empty space. Although this may be small in size, the gap can feel gigantic if you are self-conscious and anxious about showing your teeth.
In the past, a bridge was the only real option to replace a missing tooth. A bridge comprises of an artificial tooth attached on either side to a crown. These crowns are placed over the teeth neighboring gap to secure the prosthetic. However, bridges are fairly fragile in design and place undue stress on the teeth either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, potentially causing them to develop problems or even come loose themselves. Fortunately, evolution in tooth replacement solutions has now enabled patients to benefit from a new, superior option – single dental implants.
What are single dental implants?
Single dental implants offer an innovative and highly successful way to replace missing teeth without placing any pressure on those surrounding the gap. The way that they do this is through their unique design, which sees the prosthetic tooth being secured on an artificial root created from a titanium post. This post is surgically implanted into the jawbone, which will then regrow around it, securing it permanently in place. A little of the implant post extends into a through the gum, where a connector attaches the prosthetic tooth, created from a porcelain crown, to it. This completes the dental implant.
Understandably, some patients are concerned about the surgical element of the process to receive single dental implants. While it may sound daunting, the anesthetic that is used will ensure that you aren’t in pain at any point during your procedure. If you are particularly anxious it may also be possible for you to be sedated for the duration of the implantation process. With single dental implants, there is one implant post required per prosthetic tooth. The location of where this post will be positioned will be determined using a series of tests including x-rays. Your dentist will then drill down into the jaw bone and place the implant post.
After the titanium posts have been placed, it will be necessary to allow some time for it to fuse to the bone. This usually takes several months and during this time you will be fitted with a temporary artificial tooth. Once your dentist is satisfied that the fusion process is completed and your implant is completely secure, you will be able to have your permanent artificial tooth attached to it.
What are the benefits of single dental implants?
Single dental implants offer patients a variety of benefits over a traditional dental bridge. These include:
- Strength and durability. Dental implants have been known to last 20 years or more!
- No pressure on surrounding teeth, reducing the number of dental problems that you may experience.
- Discretion, since dental implants look completely natural and fully restore your smile.
- Improved tooth function since you don’t have to worry about placing undue pressure on abutment teeth.
- Less maintenance than is required with a dental bridge.
- A naturally attractive smile.
- The ability to eat whatever you like since you don’t need to worry about your implant being pulled out.
- Helps to maintain your natural bone structure.
- A remarkable success rate. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any surgically implanted device.
Dental implants rely on the patient having sufficient healthy bone in their jaw for them to be successful. For this reason, all interested individuals must attend a comprehensive consultation to assess whether they are a good candidate for the procedure. Even if you are found to have insufficient healthy bone in your jaw, bone grafting could still make it possible for you to receive them. To schedule your consultation appointment with your Mankato dentist, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!