Replace a Single Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant or Bridge
Any case of a missing tooth can affect your speech, smile, eating habits and confidence, even if only one is gone. In most cases where a single tooth is missing, Dr. Ross recommends a dental implant or a bridge to replace the tooth. Comprehensive full-mouth dental implants are also available for patients with multiple missing teeth.
Am I a Candidate for Single Tooth Implants?
If you have sufficient bone volume at the missing tooth site and healthy surrounding teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental implant to replace one lost tooth. We determine eligibility during an examination by taking 3D scans, ensuring adequate bone mass exists to anchor the implant component along with proper spacing from neighboring teeth. Assuming no untreatable health conditions, gum disease or prohibitive habits like smoking exist, a single tooth implant can be a great option.
Typical Criteria for a Single Tooth Implant Includes:
- Good general health
- Healthy gums
- Adequate jawbone density
- Non-smoker or willingness to quit
- Commitment to excellent oral hygiene
- Absence of uncontrolled teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Consideration of medical history and medications
- Realistic expectations about outcomes
- Financial awareness and consideration
- Willingness to follow post-operative care instructions
If I get a Tooth Pulled Can it Be Replaced with an Implant?
Absolutely – immediately placing an implant into a fresh extraction socket where a tooth was just pulled, known as immediate tooth replacement, shortens treatment time. We open the socket, clean it thoroughly and insert the implant base, which bonds directly to the bone over a few months. After healing, a lifelike crown is placed completing your smile. This immediate replacement technique skips wearing uncomfortable dentures between extraction and restoration.
What Should I Do If My Tooth Fell Out?
Wondering what to do if a tooth falls out as an adult? If an entire tooth fell out due to injury or advanced stage decay, gently clean and rinse it if possible, then store it in milk or saline solution to preserve vital cells. Next, phone our office to schedule an immediate evaluation and discuss repair versus replacement options including dental implants, which can often be placed the same day for quick restoration after tooth loss trauma.
Benefits of Dental Implants for Single Tooth Replacement
In contrast to single-tooth bridges or partials, a custom crown attached to a dental implant closely mimics the look, feel and function of natural teeth when cared for regularly. This option offers advantages such as preserving existing tooth structure, aiding in chewing and speech, maintaining bone stability and preventing sagging. Patients often express increased confidence and improved quality of life from receiving implants following the loss of individual teeth.
How Does a Single Tooth Implant Procedure Work?
The process spans a few brief appointments for impressions, surgical placement under local anesthetic and recovery before restorative work like crowns proceeds. Using 3D imaging, we map the space to insert a small titanium screw fused directly to the bone through a process called osseointegration. This artificial tooth root receives a lifelike porcelain crown color-matched to the surrounding dentition, screwed securely into the integrated base. After placement, minimal downtime lets the implant anchor properly below the gumline before the crown completes your smile.
- Consultation and Assessment: Attend an initial consultation for a dental implant assessment, including impressions.
- 3D Imaging and Planning: Use 3D imaging to plan precise implant placement based on bone density and oral structure.
- Surgical Placement: Undergo a surgical procedure for titanium screw insertion under local anesthetic.
- Osseointegration: Allow time for the titanium screw to fuse with the jawbone.
- Crown Fabrication and Attachment: Create a color-matched porcelain crown. Attach the crown securely to the integrated titanium screw.
- Recovery and Final Check: Experience minimal downtime for proper implant anchoring. Attend a final checkup to ensure successful integration and crown placement.
Single Tooth Implants vs Dental Bridges
Advantages of Single Tooth Implants
- Natural-looking and feeling solution
- You can eat, talk and smile naturally
- Designed to match your own natural teeth with a seamless appearance
- Prevents bone loss and decay in the jaw
- Takes 1-2 hours to install
Advantages of Dental Bridges
- Common non-implant solution for replacing a missing tooth
- Consists of a crown on each side with a bridge (false tooth) in the middle
- Low maintenance and quickly become comfortable for patients
- Preferred option for patients with existing crowns or those needing crowns on adjacent teeth
Disadvantages of Dental Bridges for Single Tooth Replacement
If you have an issue with any part of your bridge, a repair may mean you must replace the whole bridge. In some cases, a cavity or complication on one of the bridge teeth may only be remedied by removing the current bridge and the affected tooth and replacing it with a new and larger bridge.
Cost to Replace a Missing Tooth: Implant vs Bridge
A dental implant is the most cost-effective way to replace a missing tooth. An implant can cost more upfront than a dental bridge (on average between $3,000 and $5,000 per tooth for an implant vs $1,000 to $1,500 per tooth for a bridge). Dental implants generally last longer and require less maintenance and repair than other tooth replacement options, saving money over the long run.
The price of dental implants depends on many factors including the type of implant, the location of the dental office, the overall health of the patient and the number of teeth being replaced. Ross Dental offers tooth implant consultations with and flexible payment options. We accept most dental insurance plans and ensure replacing a missing tooth is a comfortable procedure with available sedation dentistry.
Single Tooth Dental Implant Aftercare
After undergoing a single tooth dental implant, it is crucial to maintain diligent aftercare practices to ensure optimal healing and long-term success. Clean the implant site thoroughly using a soft-bristle toothbrush and non-alcoholic, antimicrobial mouthwash. Floss carefully around the implant, avoiding excessive force. Attend scheduled follow-up appointments with your dentist to monitor progress and address any concerns promptly. Adopt a soft diet initially, gradually reintroducing harder foods as advised by your dental professional. Refrain from smoking, as it can impede healing. Practice consistent oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, to prevent infection and maintain overall oral health. Report any discomfort, swelling or unusual changes to your dentist immediately. Following these active aftercare measures will contribute significantly to the stability and long-lasting success of your single tooth dental implant.
Ross Dental Services in Southeastern Wisconsin
Ross Dental in New Berlin and Waukesha serves patients from locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Brookfield, West Allis, Wauwatosa, Muskego, Pewaukee, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Franklin, Elm Grove, Mukwonago, Big Bend, North Prairie and Wales.