Replacing a Single Tooth with a Dental Implant
Dental implants are the most advanced way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are an artificial root that serves as foundation for the abutment and dental crown. Dental implants are designed to mimic nature and thus feel, function and look just like natural teeth.
Missing teeth must be replaced to avoid numerous problems. These problems include:
- Rapid bone and gum tissue loss
- Increased decay and gum tissue problems on remaining teeth
- Increased chewing pressure on remaining teeth and headaches from altered chewing.
- Teeth shifting
Dental Implants, a long history.
Modern Dental implants began in the early 1970 with the work of Sweedish orthopedic surgeon Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark. His work in the 1950 and 1960s demonstrated that bone will fuse to titanium. Titanium dental implants actually fuse to jawbone in a process called osseointegration.
A modern dental implant is comprised of three parts. The implant is a titanium cylinder that is inserted into the jaw bone and replicates a natural tooth root. Next, the abutment screws into the implant and serves as a base for the crown. The dental crown is made of porcelain and replicates the anatomy of the missing tooth.
Dental Implant Placement
Dr. Nugent or his Oral Surgeons will place the dental implant into the jawbone. Once the implant is in place it is left undisturbed for four to six months. This allows adequate fusion of bone to the dental implant. It is the fusion of bone to the dental implant that is responsible for the extremely stable platform to restore the missing tooth.
Restoring the Dental Implant
Once the dental implant has completely fused to the jaw bone it is time to restore the dental implant. Accurate dental impressions are taken and a custom abutment and porcelain crown are made. The abutment is screwed into the implant and an X-ray is taken to confirm that it is completely screwed down. Then the porcelain crown is cemented onto the abutment. The result is a completely natural looking artificial tooth that looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth.