You’ve probably seen commercials where people replace multiple teeth or their entire smile with dental implants. While getting full-arch dental implants is common, a dental implant is also one of the best choices for restoring a single missing tooth.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Whenever we have a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth want to drift into the open space (gap) created between them. Even opposing teeth will become misaligned when they don’t have a healthy biting partner meeting them. As teeth start to shift over time, it leads to crowding, misalignment, irregular wear patterns, and even broken teeth elsewhere in your mouth. In addition, people with misaligned teeth are more prone to TMJ disorder, cavities, and gum disease.
When we replace a missing tooth, we can preserve that space and the alignment of your other natural teeth. Since a dental implant is the same size and shape as your adjacent teeth, it fills that space nicely and prohibits the need to restore or replace multiple teeth at one time.
A single tooth dental implant is the least invasive treatment or surgical procedure available for someone with missing natural teeth.
Single Tooth Replacement Options
Aside from implant dentistry treatments, replacing a single tooth usually involves a fixed dental bridge or partial removable dentures. In the case of partial dentures, the prosthesis has to be removed at night. It also uses small clasps that wrap around adjacent teeth for support, which can actually damage them over time.
Fixed dental bridges are among the most popular and traditional treatments for replacing one or two teeth in a row. Either end of the dental bridge is attached on top of natural teeth for support. Unfortunately, this tooth replacement option requires drilling down and reshaping otherwise healthy teeth. Although it’s a predictable tooth replacement option, it is fairly invasive, considering the supporting teeth may not need work done to them.
As a side note, our Murrieta implant dentistry practice often pairs dental bridges and implants together to replace multiple teeth at a time.
Benefits of Single Tooth Dental Implants
Dental implants function independently of your natural tooth structures. This means you can avoid altering any of your remaining natural teeth. Instead, your replacement tooth sets nicely alongside other teeth, like an independent artificial tooth. That way, your anatomical teeth can remain fully intact, prolonging their lifetime and durability in the years ahead.
Plus, an implant helps support and preserve tooth-supporting bone. Bone loss is common whenever a tooth is extracted or falls out. That’s why you frequently see people with tooth loss struggling with weaker bone, a “short” facial profile, or sunken-in lips and cheeks. Your new implant teeth limit additional bone loss because of how they attract new bone growth around them. The bone surface fuses with your new implant, essentially halting the premature aging process.
Once full osseointegration occurs, your dental implant becomes a permanent part of your smile. Dental implants are extremely durable and able to bite into any type of food, whether it’s a carrot, apple, steak, or something else. They’re as strong as, if not stronger than, your existing natural teeth.
A well-maintained implant can last for the rest of your life. As long as you’re committed to having good oral hygiene, the investment in implant dentistry will stay with you for decades, if not an entire lifetime. No other tooth replacement options are capable of doing that. And since a single implant is non-invasive to other teeth, it allows you to preserve one or more teeth next to it.
Your Dental Implant Surgery
The dental implant surgical procedure is quite straightforward. As a minor surgical procedure, the entire process can be completed with just a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing medication.) Very rarely do single dental implant procedures require sedation, but you can always request it if you like.
Placing individual dental implants is a routine service that Dr. Do offers. In fact, it’s more common to get single teeth dental implants than it is for those people restoring multiple teeth.
Your individual dental implants are first placed into the bone structure next to the natural teeth. Then Dr. Do closes the gum tissue over the top of the implants so that they can integrate. Over the next 3-4 months, the surrounding bone fuses with the new dental implants, which is what holds them permanently in place. If needed, Dr. Do can give you a temporary replacement tooth to wear while your implant integrates with the bone around it. After it’s fully integrated, we’ll uncover the top of the implant, attach a small abutment, and then affix your permanent dental crown on top. No one will ever need to know that you had a missing tooth, to begin with! Even if you’re replacing multiple missing teeth throughout your mouth, your crowns will be blended with the adjacent teeth on either side.
What if Missing Teeth Aren’t Visible?
You may not be worried about having to replace missing teeth because you can’t see them when you smile. Even if there is a tooth missing further back in your mouth, losing it can affect your entire smile. Not to mention trigger bone loss around the adjacent tooth root. Your remaining teeth will suffer because of the weaker underlying bone. And in time, all of them will begin to drift out of alignment.
Often, the back teeth are the ones we rely on the most for chewing and grinding up our food. Without strong teeth to break down our meals, it can affect our nutrient absorption and digestion and even lead to unhealthy weight loss.
Dental Implants in Murrieta
Madison Square Dentistry offers comprehensive tooth replacement options like single and multiple dental implants. Say goodbye to traditional dentures, partials, or a tooth-supported fixed bridge. This minor surgical procedure is safe, comfortable, and the cost is reasonable and long-lasting. Call our office in Murrieta today to learn more about dental implant replacement teeth. Flexible financing plans are available!