Single Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, roughly 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. If you fall into this group, you have come to the right place. We here at DFW Oral Surgeons offer several tooth replacement options. One of our most common treatments involves dental implants.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the root component of a prosthesis. In the case of single tooth replacement, the prosthesis is a dental crown, a tooth-shaped cap that mimics the function and appearance of a tooth. The implant screw and the dental crown are linked together by an abutment or support structure.
The Implant Process
As with any procedure, the implant process begins with a consultation appointment. During your consultation, John C. Shillingburg, DDS will perform a comprehensive exam and review your medical history. This appointment may also include digital x-rays, CBCT scans, photographs, and 3-D Imaging technology.
Most people healthy enough to undergo minor surgery will qualify for implant treatment. The implant post also requires a significant amount of bone in the jaw. If you have experienced bone deterioration, you may need a preliminary procedure known as a bone graft before implantation is possible.
Once we determine you are a suitable candidate, we can schedule your first surgery. During this surgery, we will make an incision in the gum tissue and place the implant. After the implant is in place, we will suture the incision.
Over the next six to nine months, the implant screw and your jawbone will fuse. This process is known as osseointegration. Osseointegration creates a powerful bond that allows the implant to support the crown against the strongest forces of your bite.
After we determine that the implant has properly fused to the bone, we can place the abutment. These days, the abutment may also be placed at the same time as the implant screw. In most cases, we need to perform a second surgery to expose the implant head and attach the support structure.
After the abutment is in place, and the gum tissue has healed, we will take an impression of the area. This impression will be used to fabricate your final crown, typically with porcelain or zirconia. Both these materials mimic the natural appearance of tooth enamel. Once the crown is ready, we will permanently attach it to the abutment and implant screw.
After You Receive your Single Tooth Replacement
Implant-supported restorations have several benefits, including easy maintenance. Your implant-supported crown will look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth. With proper care, it should last for many decades. In some cases, it could even last a lifetime!
You should be brushing and flossing your implant-supported crown once it is in place. We also recommend scheduling routine appointments, which include checkup exams and professional cleanings so that we can monitor your oral health.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are missing a tooth, a dental implant may be the ideal solution! Call (972) 539-1491 to schedule your consultation appointment today!