TMJ disorder is an issue that affects many Americans each year. It leads to jaw pain, limited jaw movement and other symptoms. Dentists can diagnose, treat and prevent TMJ disorder through a variety of methods. It is helpful to understand how the diagnostic and treatment process works for TMJ to determine if you should visit…
Single Tooth Implant to Replace Missing Tooth
A missing tooth is not just unsightly; it can also cause real problems in the mouth if not replaced by a tooth implant as soon as possible. Whether it be from a sports injury, old age, advanced tooth decay or periodontal disease, tooth loss does happen. When you lose a tooth, your confidence decreases along with the appearance of your smile. Losing a tooth can be painful, but thankfully, tooth implants are there to save the day.
What happens when a tooth is lost?
When a tooth is knocked out of place, falls out due to decay or must be extracted to save other teeth from damage, negative changes can begin to happen in the mouth. The surrounding teeth, for example, will start to move toward the space naturally. This movement further harms the bite, with upper and lower teeth no longer matching up. Eventually, other teeth will begin to loosen due to loss of bite force.
To prevent these shifts, a single tooth implant is often used to fill that space left by a missing tooth. Unlike every other tooth replacement method out there, tooth implants actually utilize the jawbone for support. Other tooth replacement methods, like dental bridges, use other teeth for support. Since implants use the jawbone, they are the most lifelike option and can be used just as a normal tooth would be used.
In addition to looking and feeling extremely realistic, a tooth implant will also keep the jawbone intact. Other methods do not utilize the jawbone and therefore, let it wither away underneath. Jawbone density loss can cause further bone loss underneath surrounding teeth, leading to tooth loss.
What is the procedure like?
Dental implant surgery is often straightforward and almost always successful under optimal circumstances. After determining that there is sufficient jawbone in the area to support an implant, the procedure moves forward.
First, the post (a screw-like rod that acts as an artificial tooth root) is inserted directly into the jawbone. After a period of about six to nine months, the titanium rod fuses with the bone completely in a process known as osseointegration. A temporary crown is placed on the post during this time until it is cleared to bear weight.
Once the bone and post have fused together, the implant is now a permanent fixture of the mouth. The temporary crown is removed from the abutment, and a permanent crown is fixed into position. Now, the implant can be used just like a natural tooth.
What is the cost for a tooth implant?
These devices vary in price but tend to be more expensive than other, less permanent options like bridges. While bridges are less expensive, they do not offer the same quality of bite restoration as tooth implants. Not to mention, bridges do not last as long as tooth implants.
How long do tooth implants last?
Because they fuse with the jawbone permanently, implants can last a lifetime with proper care. That means brushing and flossing on or around the implant daily (although the implant is immune to bacterial attack, the surrounding teeth and gums are not). Keeping an implant clean and the surrounding gum tissue healthy is a big part of ensuring that it lasts for a long time.
A new tooth in one day
Instead of choosing less expensive options that will only last a few years, consider a single tooth implant for that missing tooth. Our office makes it easy for patients to go from an incomplete bite to beautiful, full smile. Call our office today to set up a consultation and get you on the road to the smile you have always dreamed of.
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