Single Tooth Implants for Fremont, CA
For many patients with only one missing tooth, replacement doesn’t seem of the utmost importance especially if the tooth is not visible during speech, but no matter how many teeth are missing, replacement is essential in maintaining oral health. Left unfilled, gaps from missing teeth allow teeth to shift causing bite misalignment and potentially undoing costly orthodontic treatment. Even one missing tooth impacts the entire bite because surrounding teeth bear more force than they previously did putting them at greater risk for chips and cracks. The uneven pressure can even lead to TMJ disorder. One of the most serious consequences of tooth loss is deterioration of bone and gum tissue. This deterioration leads to increased risk for further tooth loss, change in facial shape, and other serious oral health risks. Dental implant tooth replacement is the only option that preserves bone and gum tissue because implants replace the entire dental structure from the root up.
The Single Tooth Implant Process
The dental implant process can take several months to complete, but once the final product is in place, patients enjoy a natural looking, feeling dental restoration that can last a lifetime with proper care. Not every patient is a good candidate for dental implant tooth replacement, but a consultation with your dentist can help determine eligibility. If your dentist determines you can successfully complete dental implant treatment, the process is completed in three phases.
Phase 1 - Preparation
Patients visit our office and receive x-rays, impressions, and digital photos of the missing tooth, surrounding structure, and full bite. These resources are sent to a dental lab were a custom dental crown is crafted. Our dentist works with an oral surgeon to plan the surgical phase of treatment.
Phase 2 - Surgical Placement
An oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gums and inserts a small, titanium implant post into the jawbone. Over the course of several months, the patient’s gums heal, and the implant fuses to the jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration.
Phase 3 - Smile Restoration
Once the implant is securely anchored to the bone, the patient returns to our office for placement of the custom dental crown to complete the procedure.
Implants vs. Fixed Bridge
The more traditional treatment option for missing teeth is a fixed bridge, but this option has some drawbacks. Since the root of the tooth is not replaced, a fixed bridge is anchored to surrounding teeth using crowns. That means undamaged teeth are affected in the process of replacing the missing tooth. Additionally, because the root is still missing, loss of bone and gum tissue is still likely to happen over time changing the shape of the face and potentially leading to additional tooth loss. Benefits of implant retained tooth replacement compared to crown and bridge treatment include:
- No effect on surrounding teeth
- Sturdy, root up full tooth replacement
- Bone and gum tissue retention
- Supported facial shape and volume
- Decreased risk of infection (gum and tooth)
Find Out More about Single Tooth Implants
If you’re missing one or more teeth and haven’t sought treatment, call James Block Dentistry today. Our knowledgeable Fremont dental team provides patients a variety of tooth replacement options including crown and bridge and dental implant single tooth restorations.