Single Tooth Implants
Single tooth implants are a wonderful method to restore a lost tooth, whether sustained from an injury, disease, or another incident. Many of our patients at Ashley Bennett DDS and J.J. Perkiomaki DMD PC in Portland, OR are concerned about their appearance after the loss of a tooth. An implant not only improves the aesthetics of your smile but also improves the health of your underlying jawbone.
What is an Implant?A dental implant is a tooth restoration that is made of three separate parts. The first part of an implant is a small screw which will be fitted into your jawbone. Because the screw is made of titanium, your body will accept it easily, and your jawbone will eventually fuse to and grow around the implant. This creates a strong foundation for your implant and even helps to strengthen the jawbone itself. The second piece of the implant is called an abutment.
The abutment acts as a connector between the implant and the crown that’ll be made to replace your missing tooth. The crown is the final piece of the implant and is custom made to match the size and color of your surrounding teeth. The implant, in its totality, looks, feels and behaves just like your natural teeth while also ensuring the health of your jawbone.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?It’s imperative to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain your oral health. Without a tooth root to stimulate your jawbone, this vital piece of bone can begin to atrophy, “resorb,” or melt, back into the body.
With the jawbone weakening below the surface, the healthy teeth immediately adjacent to the missing tooth will begin to shift move into the negative space. This act of compensation will eventually only weaken and loosen these teeth and create a domino effect as each successive pair of teeth attempts to close the gap. As you might imagine, this process can complicate the way your teeth fit together and can contribute to problems with eating and speaking.
What are Other Single Tooth Replacement Options?If you’re reluctant to pursue a dental implant, there are other options to restore your smile. One option is called a dental bridge. This apparatus consists of a prosthetic tooth suspended between two crowns. These crowns will need to be fitted over the two teeth immediately adjacent to the space left by the missing tooth. These healthy teeth will need to be prepped, that is, have much of their enamel worn down to create room for the crowns.
There are smaller versions of the dental implant, aptly named “mini dental implants” which may inspire greater confidence in patients and tooth-colored implants made of zirconia which can be an attractive option compared to the grey metal base of titanium implants.
Which is Best?Ultimately, the best single tooth restoration is the one that both you and Dr. Perkiomaki or Dr. Bennett think will best suit your needs and aesthetic concerns during your consultation. Contact us today at (503) 292-8996 to begin the process!