Dental implants are a great way to completely replace a missing tooth. Single implants replace just one missing tooth at a time. The implant is typically made out of titanium, which is inserted deep into the jaw bone. Over time, the implant will actually fuse with the bone and become an integral part of your smile. After healing, a crown can be made to attach to the top of the implant.
If you are missing a tooth, this can affect both your confidence as well as your ability to eat and chew properly. Over time, the surrounding teeth may even begin to shift out of place, causing orthodontic problems. An implant is a better option for patients because it does not require surrounding teeth to be filed down or compromised in order to replace what is missing. Likewise, implants are not removable like a partial denture, and they are made to fit perfectly in with your smile.
Most patients who want a single tooth implant can have the restoration placed easily. Treatment typically involves several appointments to ensure that the implant is placed and is healing correctly. Dr. Neely Thornton will examine your smile to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. You should have the ability to heal from oral surgery easily and not have any bone loss problems within the jaw area. If you have bone loss, a bone graft may be needed.
The first step is to place the actual implant. This is done by creating an incision through the gums and Dr. Neely Thornton making a small tunnel in the bone for the new implant. The implant is then placed and is given time to begin to heal. You will then come back in after a few weeks for the abutment to be added to the implant. After this has been given time to heal, a dental crown is made and placed over the actual abutment and implant.