Single-tooth implants are an excellent option for people who are missing just one tooth and need a permanent solution to fill that gap, in the most natural way. The implant plays the role of a new root for a crown that will be placed on top of it later on to replace the missing tooth. To achieve that, the dentist will first need to create an opening in the jawbone, via a procedure where the patient feels neither discomfort nor pain, and surgically place the implant. Once fully healed and stable, your custom-made new tooth (crown) is then attached to the implant. The crown will look exactly like your natural teeth and will be a beautiful, and permanent, replacement.
How do single-gap implants work?
Single gap implants, as with all dental implants, consist of three main parts:
- Implant – This is placed in the jawbone and acts like the root of a natural tooth. It is usually a post or screw that is made of titanium. There is a lot science that goes into the design of these implants in order to ensure that they integrate with the natural bone to create a stable solution.
- Abutment – This is attached to the implant with a screw and is made of titanium, porcelain or gold. It serves as the medium that connects the implant to the crown (which is the tooth-like part of the implant).
- Crown – This is made of porcelain, metal or PMF (porcelain fused to a metal alloy) and is either cemented or screwed onto the abutment. In the latter case, a composite (filling material the same colour as the rest of the teeth) or other restorative material can be used to cover the screw hole.
Requirements for the success of the procedure
There are numerous factors to take into consideration when your Clyde Munro dentist assesses each individual patient for suitability to dental implant treatment. This is why an initial consultation is necessary before any treatment, or decision about treatment, can take place. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
To be a good candidate for this procedure, you must have strong and enough jawbone to support the implant. Furthermore, it is also important the tissues surrounding the area where the implant will be placed, as well as your natural teeth, are in good health.
Depending on the technique used, the time frame for completing the dental implant process varies. Traditional methods require at least five months to ensure full healing. However, there are more modern techniques that allow the dentist to place both the implant and a healing crown at the same time.
The traditional process starts with the dentist making a small incision inside the gum to open space to place the implant. Then, they drill a small hole in the bone, place the implant into that hole, and stitch the incision closed. The area is allowed to heal before the dentist re-opens the incision, and inserts a healing cap (collar) on the top of the implant, this then allows the surrounding gum tissue to heal. A few weeks later, the collar is removed, and the dentist screws the crown, or replacement tooth onto the implant.
There is also a one-stage dental implant procedure, where the dentist places the implant, abutment, and a temporary cap at the same time, in just a single visit. Your Clyde Munro dentist will discuss the options available to you after evaluating your oral health.
With single-gap dental implants, you can rest assured that you will effectively fill the space created by your missing tooth and be able to enjoy the benefits of a natural-looking smile. And, with proper care, just like you do with your natural teeth, your implant will last for many decades to come.
If you require any additional information on single-tooth replacement implants or have a question about any of the steps involved, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Clyde Munro dental practice.