According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 7 out of 10 Americans have lost at least one of the natural adult teeth that they hoped would last them a lifetime. This most frequently comes down to dental caries (decay), gum disease, accidental trauma or a failed root canal that abscesses. Tooth loss is therefore very much a fact of life and will very likely occur at one time or another to the majority of us. What’s important is that you make the right choice when it does happen, and for people missing a single tooth, dental implants can most certainly be just that: the best choice.
So, what’s involved in replacing a single tooth?
Replacing a Single Lost Tooth with Dental Implants
Whether you’ve just had a single tooth “knocked out” or have one that requires extraction due to recurrent problems, there is seldom the need for overly complex, invasive and/or expensive procedures to restore your smile. This is because the problem, be it from damage or infection, is localized around a single tooth. The procedure(s) typically needed to replace single missing teeth are typically very straightforward, causing little in the way of discomfort on inconvenience.
Here’s a step-by-step of what the actual steps involve…
Your Initial SCREENING Consultation
Before you come in for treatment, you will initially meet with members of our skilled team of experts at MALO SMILES. Your initial screening, including a 3D CT scan of your jaws, and discussion of potential treatment alternatives is completely free! During this appointment, they will:
- Take down your medical and dental history.
- Perform a visual examination of your teeth, gums, jaws and face.
- Take a 3D CAT scan of your jaw and dentition so that we can more thoroughly assess your oral health and more accurately plan your course of treatment.
After you’ve had time to discuss potential treatment alternatives with your loved ones and have you chosen the right one for you, another visit or two might be necessary for accurate record taking, including impressions (molds) of your mouth, and planning. A date will then be set for you to come in for your treatment!
The Day of Single Dental Implant Treatment
As it was explained, single tooth replacement is typically a very straightforward and fairly quick procedure, so often it is performed under a local anesthetic or with light sedation. If you feel particularly anxious and there are no contraindications, we can administer Intravenous Sedation (I.V.) just before and during the procedure to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable.
The procedure itself consists surgically placing a dental implant into the jawbone in a secure fashion. If planned for deemed appropriate, a crown may be placed that same day (known as “immediate load” ) by one our experienced prosthodontists, or by your own dentist, by fixing a custom-made, but temporary artificial tooth to the top of the implant’s abutment. This is to enable you to eat and smile comfortably while the implant itself heals. You will need to follow strict diet instructions in this instance. If the implant crown is not to be delivered that same day (known as “delayed load”), a “cover screw” or “healing cap” will be placed. Often a removable temporary is worn until the implant is ready to be restored with an abutment and crown.
You will then be allowed to return home with some prescription medications for any post-operative discomfort and instructions for care, cleaning and dietary recommendations.
You will be required to return to MALO SMILES about 10 to 14 days after your surgery and again as arranged by your dental implant team member so that we can make sure your recovery is going well. Once we are satisfied with the “healing” of your implant, you will have the permanent crown fabricated and securely placed.
At this stage, you should be able to eat a normal diet, speak without difficulty and smile with complete confidence!
Contact MALO SMILES
Creating Smiles. Changing Lives.
Contact MALO SMILES at 844-625-6872 (844MALOUSA) or via the Contact Form on our website to schedule a Screening Consultation with one of our qualified and experienced dental implant dentists! Find out how our specialists can work along with your existing dentist to give you back the smile you deserve!
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Or, If You Have Questions, Check Out Our Dental Implant FAQ Section for Answers!