Why You Might Need a Single Dental Implant

There are many common reasons why you might have a single tooth extracted and need replacement with a dental implant, including:

  • Failed root canal therapy
  • Cracked tooth
  • Root cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Failed root canal therapy
  • Cracked tooth
  • Root cavities
  • Gum disease

When a cavity reaches the living part of the tooth, the tooth can become infected. Root canal therapy prevents or treats the infection by removing the living part of the tooth. Usually, root canal therapy preserves a tooth for decades of continued function. Sometimes, though, the procedure doesn’t work. The tooth might be damaged in the procedure, or infection might return, forcing replacement of the tooth.

Often, a cracked tooth just needs a dental crown. However, if the crack extends into the tooth root, it’s best to replace the tooth.

Cavities in the crown of the tooth–the white, visible part of the tooth–respond well to treatment with fillings. However, cavities in the tooth root don’t always respond to that treatment. The best solution to root cavities is often removing and replacing the damaged tooth.

Gum disease affects the area around the tooth, destroying the bone that supports the tooth. Sometimes, periodontal therapy can save the tooth, but other times, the tooth is lost.

Other Tooth Replacement Options

If you need to replace a single tooth, you have many options. Usually, a dental implant is the best solution, but it’s worth it to consider how it compares.

No Replacement

You always have the option of not replacing a lost tooth. However, if you don’t replace your lost tooth, you will have a gap that can cause other teeth to shift and drift. They will not only be crooked, they can lead to a bad bite. You might find it hard to eat a variety of foods. You could even experience the loss of additional teeth.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are a removable appliance that replaces one or more teeth. Partial dentures are inexpensive, but they’re also the least functional replacement. Partial dentures don’t stay in place well and are supported just by your gums, which can make it hard for you to bite and chew with them in. They can be uncomfortable to wear. Often, they’re unattractive in part because the clasps make them highly visible, and they shift out of place frequently.

Partial dentures can also lead to additional tooth loss. The clasps that secure the dentures can wear away teeth and lead to plaque accumulation that fosters decay on your natural teeth.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a fully fixed tooth replacement. A replacement tooth is supported by your neighboring teeth, typically by dental crowns over the supporting teeth. Properly designed, a dental bridge can last for decades and give you an attractive, fully functional replacement tooth.

However, the situations where dental bridges work are limited. You need a situation where two natural teeth can safely do the work of three. Often, placing a dental bridge requires the removal of healthy tooth material, which can shorten the lifespan of supporting teeth. Sometimes, a poorly designed dental bridge can lead to rapid failure of a supporting tooth or teeth.

What Is the Dental Implant Procedure Like?

Every patient and every dental implant procedure is unique. The synopsis we provide here is a generalized course of treatment and one of several possible scenarios.

Examination: During your initial examination, an implant dentist at PermaDent will determine your overall oral health and candidacy for implants. Utilizing the most advanced imaging equipment available, your dental implant surgeon will examine your jawbone for density, strength, and implant placement options.

Implant procedure: Your implant dentist will place the titanium implant or implants in your jaw. This procedure typically takes from 1 to 2 hours per implant placed. Your dentist will evaluate their stability to determine whether you can have a provisional restoration or a healing abutment on the implant. Otherwise, the implant may be concealed under your gums.

Osseointegration: Following the implant procedure, we must allow for the post to become attached to the jawbone via the process of osseointegration. Your body removes bone stressed by the implant placement, and the new bone it builds attaches to the implant.

Abutment placement: If you didn’t get a provisional restoration or a healing abutment, your implant dentist will need to place an abutment on each of your dental implants. This procedure takes place after your bone has attached to the implant. After you get your healing abutment, we will allow it to heal for up to two weeks before the next step.

Restoration placement: If you had a provisional restoration, the implant dentist handling your restoration will replace it with a final version. If you didn’t get a provisional restoration, you will go directly to a final restoration. Your implant or implants are finished!

Although the dentists at PermaDent are experts in the placement of implants, we do not provide final restoration. If you do not have a restorative dentist, the PermaDent staff is happy to match you with a reputable and experienced restorative dentist.

Challenges of Single-Tooth Dental Implants Our Specialists are Equipped to Handle

Single-tooth dental implants are a unique challenge that benefits from the expertise and experience of an implant specialist. Here’s why single dental implants can be more difficult.

Implant Must Support Itself

A single dental implant must support itself independently. With dental bridges and implant solutions like All-on-X, dental implants can balance forces and support each other with the restoration. However, a single implant has no additional support. An implant dentist must ensure that there’s enough bone to support the implant and must manage the bone health to keep the bone. Bone regeneration and sinus augmentation procedures may be necessary.

Space Can Be Tight

Placing a dental implant with natural teeth all around requires precise planning and accurate technique. If an implant is too close to natural tooth roots, it can lead to failure of both the tooth and the implant.

Managing Gum Tissue Can Be Hard

For many dental implant solutions, you’ll have a denture or bridge that has fake gums around the replacement teeth. However, with a single dental implant, your implant dentist will try to get the gum tissue to grow around the implant, ensuring that the replacement tooth looks natural and healthy. This isn’t always easy and may require periodontal plastic surgery.

The Implant Is Right Next to Natural Teeth

The cosmetic challenge of placing a single dental implant is higher than with other tooth replacement options. With a full arch replacement, the teeth just have to look natural enough to pass together. However, a single dental implant must look natural in comparison to the natural teeth right next to it. We can recommend cosmetic dentists who are great at ensuring a perfect match with single dental implants.

Need a Dental Implant in Torrance, CA?

If you are looking for a single dental implant in Torrance, CA, seek out an expert implant dentist who is prepared for the challenge. Our dentists are specialists with decades of experience, and we’re prepared to give you an outstanding dental implant.

Please call (310) 325-9969 or use our online form today to request an appointment at PermaDent in Torrance, CA.