Single Tooth Implants Atlanta

Although many people think of dental implants as a way to replace all or most of your teeth, you can take advantage of dental implants even if you are missing one tooth. In fact, single tooth replacement is one of the most common oral surgery procedures performed. A single tooth dental implant is esthetically pleasing, easy-care, and affordable, offering advantages over dental bridges that many people prefer.

What is a Single Tooth Implant?

A single tooth dental implant is a permanent replacement for an individual missing tooth. The implant is a post, usually made of titanium or ceramic, fixed in your jawbone in place of the missing tooth root. A small metal clip is attached to the top of the implant to attach the implant to a dental crown. The crown is custom-made to resemble your natural teeth. The result is a single tooth replacement that lasts for decades and looks, feels, and acts like your natural tooth.

The process for a single tooth implant is similar to getting multiple implants. Our doctors peel back the gum around the hole left by the missing tooth, clean the area, and carefully place the implant during the surgical procedure. It usually takes three to six months for the implant to integrate with the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. When the fusion of the implant and jawbone is complete, a clip or abutment is placed on the implant, and the crown is attached.

Once the single tooth implant is in place, it is as easy to care for as your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing keep the crown clean and free of debris.

Who is a Candidate for a Single Tooth Implant?

Anyone who has lost a tooth and is in good general and oral health is a candidate for a single tooth implant. A single tooth replacement is an in-office procedure performed by one of the oral surgeons at Oral Surgery Associates & Dental Implant Centers. Our surgeons are experienced in precisely placing dental implants for safe, secure healing and beautiful results.

Good jawbone health is essential if you want a single tooth implant. If one of our doctors determines that your jaw needs reinforcing, a bone graft may be required. This adds several months to the process but can help ensure optimal results.

Heavy smokers, individuals with uncontrolled diabetes, and anyone with a severe bleeding disorder may not be good candidates for a single tooth implant. These conditions can affect the healing process.

Single Tooth Implant vs. Dental Bridge

In the past, if you were missing one tooth, your best option to replace the missing tooth was a dental bridge. The bridge was an oral device that held a crown in place over the empty socket. The bridge was attached to the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth using either metal attachments or crowns placed over the healthy teeth. The adjacent teeth have to be filed down slightly to securely hold the crowns or attachments for a proper fit.

Unfortunately, bridges have a tendency to slip or come loose, which can be embarrassing. They require special cleaning and care and do not preserve the jawbone because there is no implant in the bone to stimulate bone growth. On the other hand, an implant helps keep the jawbone healthy, is permanent, and fixed with no slipping or shifting.

Benefits of a Single Tooth Implant

  • Implants are easy-care – you brush and floss them like your natural teeth
  • Implants are attractive and look like your natural teeth
  • Implants last a lifetime and the crowns can last for 20-30 years when cared for properly
  • There is no need to grind down the natural teeth to support a dental bridge, preserving the health of your remaining teeth
  • Your jawbone will not deteriorate because of a missing tooth root
  • Bridges can lead to tooth decay in the teeth holding the bridge in place if food or bacteria get underneath the bridge or crowns

If you are interested in a single tooth dental implant, please call one of our offices for an appointment. One of our doctors will be happy to determine if you are a candidate for a single tooth implant and explain your options.