Single Tooth Implants
We can restore a missing tooth with a dental implant, providing a firm independent tooth that will look and feel like your tooth. Placing an implant that is then covered with a dental crown is more than a false tooth, it is a fully restored tooth. The difference is in the process. Our staff at Smiles of Tulsa can walk you through the steps and show you why rebuilding the tooth is the ideal option. We would love to talk to you about single tooth implant restorations.
Replacing Missing Teeth with Implants
The standard method of replacing missing teeth is done by relying on neighboring teeth to hold it in place. This practice is good for giving you the appearance of a replaced tooth and will increase the lost function, but there is one major flaw. The false tooth is not making contact with the bone, and the bone will begin to atrophy.
Our teeth are part of a structure for a complete system. The tooth has a root that makes contact with the bone. As we apply pressure to our teeth through chewing and speaking, that pressure is transferred through the root and to the jawbone. This is how the bone exercises, and because it is being exercised, the bone stays healthy and robust. Like any bone, when not being exercised, the bone shrinks with atrophy. A false tooth designed to hover over the gum can not make the connection with the bone. Dental implants are the only restoration that is designed to restore the connection between the tooth and bone.
A dental implant does not include the tooth but is the rebuilding of the root. When a tooth is lost, the root is also lost. A dental implant is a metal rod that we surgically place to serve as that middle piece designed to connect the bone and tooth. Once healed, the dental crown is secured in place directly to the implant and bone. It does not rely on neighboring teeth for stability, we do not need to alter neighboring teeth as we would with other options, and the tooth is solidly secure.
Preparation for Implant Placement
Before placing your implant, there are often some preparatory steps that need to be taken. This often includes:
|Mouth is Healthy: We want to reduce the likelihood of infection developing. This includes the removal of any decay and the patient having healthy gums. We may need to help with gum disease or periodontitis.
|Being able to Heal: Some patients may have conditions that limit their ability to heal, this can include a medical reason, a medication they are taking, or if the patient smokes. We will need to take steps to improve your healing. We may make recommendations or ask to speak with your physician.
|Sufficient Bone: In most situations, the patient has already experienced some level of bone loss, we will need to bulk up the bone. Sufficient bone is needed for the implant to grab hold of when placing, we can bulk up the bone with a simple bone graft. We simply open the tissue and place bone material, this can be bone material from the patient, from a donated source, or synthetic bone. The tissue is then closed, and the patient is sent home for a period so the bone can grow.
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