A dental implant designed to replace a single tooth is composed of three parts: the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment, which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gum line; and the crown, which is created by a prosthodontist or restorative dentist and fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance.
Many people who are missing a single tooth opt for a fixed bridge; but a bridge may require the cutting down of healthy, adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored in the future.Then there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime. Similarly, a removable partial denture may contribute to the loss of adjacent teeth.
Studies show that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30 in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture. Further, conventional dentures may contribute to the loss of bone in the area where teeth are missing. The presence of natural teeth preserves the jawbone.
When a tooth is missing the bone may erode and weaken until it may be necessary for your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon to graft bone to the area to strengthen it for placement of a dental implant. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion, or osseointegration, of the implant and bone provides stability, just as the natural tooth did. Bone is maintained by the presence of natural teeth or implants. Bone loss occurs with the loss of teeth.
Fixed bridges may require the shaping or cutting down of adjacent healthy teeth.
If you are missing several teeth in the same area of your mouth, you may still enjoy the confidence and lifestyle benefits that come with dental implants. We will place two or more dental implants, depending on the number of teeth that are missing.Your replacement teeth will be attached to the implants to allow excellent function and prevent bone loss. The implants will serve as a stable support that tightly locks into your replacement teeth and dentures to prevent slipping and bone loss. With an overall success rate of about 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up, dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth.