Single Tooth Dental Implants
In the not-so-recent past, if you were missing a tooth, your replacement options were limited to a having other teeth drilled in order to place a fixed dental bridge, or to have the missing teeth replaced with a removable prosthesis (a denture). Thanks to advances in technology and in our understanding of how teeth, bones, and gums relate to each other, dental implants have become the premiere option for replacing missing teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implant technology has its roots in the same concepts that orthopedic surgeons have been using for decades with hip replacements. When a tooth is lost, a small, screw-like piece of titanium is surgically placed into the area of the missing tooth; often times, the implant placement procedure takes less time in the chair to complete than it would take to prepare a traditional crown! After a few months of healing (osseointegration), Dr. Markham will make a crown to be placed upon the dental implant, and your missing tooth will now be replaced.
Obviously if the tooth is in the front of your mouth, Dr. Markham will talk to you about temporary options while your implant heals – we do not expect you to walk around with a missing front tooth!
What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Dental implants have two major advantages. The first one is that when you elect to have a dental implant placed, the adjacent teeth are not affected. Practically speaking, what this fact means is that if a dental implant were to fail (success rates are generally over 95% success) – the teeth next to the implant would remain intact.
Contrast this situation to a fixed dental bridge. With a fixed dental bridge, it is necessary to prepare (to drill) one or more teeth in front of the space, and behind the space. What this means is that if any one of the anchor teeth for the bridge were to have a problem (decay, bone loss over many years, etc.) then you would have to replace the entire bridge.
The second advantage of dental implants is longevity. Dental implants do not get decay – so when an implant and an implant crown is done correctly, these types of restorations can last for decades. Contrast this timeframe with dental bridges, which like dental crowns, usually last around 5-15 years before they eventually need to be replaced.
What else can be Done with Dental Implants?
We’re glad you asked! There are a number of treatments we can provide with dental implants, and there are many questions that our patients ask. You can use the links below to learn more about what we can do with dental implants. If you have questions about dental implants, or if you want to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Markham offers a complimentary implant consultation. You can schedule this consultation by calling: 530-823-8771.