When a tooth is missing or requires extraction, it is important to have a replacement tooth put in the open space. Aside from how it will affect your appearance, a missing tooth can lead to further dental problems. These problems include
- Causing an uneven bite
- Additional tooth loss
- Speech problems
- Difficultly chewing food
- Shifting teeth
- Pressure on surrounding teeth
- Jaw bone loss
Using the time, effort and money to replace one missing tooth seems like a lot but the reality is the damage it can cause requires expensive and invasive treatment.
Dr. Pamela G. Doray, a Philadelphia dentist, will recommend replacing the tooth with a dental implant rather than a bridge or partial denture. Dental implants have a success rate of about 97% and are considered the most natural solution to tooth loss.
About a Single Dental Implant
A dental implant is actually a screw-like metal post that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. Once placed in the jawbone where the tooth once was, it takes about two to five months to fully heal and fuse with the surrounding bone. Then, during a simple procedure, a small piece called an abutment will be attached to the implant. After a few additional weeks of healing, a dental crown will then be attached to the implant/abutment and serve as the replacement tooth.
The single best reason dental implants are superior over the other solutions is because the implant replaces the tooth root. This will provide stimulation for the bone (just as the tooth root once did) and prevent bone loss. No one will ever know you have a fake tooth because the implant-supported crown will look like a natural tooth, blending in with the rest of your smile. You will care for it the same way you care for your other teeth, by brushing and flossing every day and visiting our Philadelphia dentist office twice a year for a regular checkup. An implant-supported crown also allows you to eat all the foods you love without restrictions.
The Cost of a Single Dental Implant
Compared to a dental bridge or partial denture, a dental implant will cost more. A single dental implant will cost at least $5,000. This is because the process to get it placed involves multiple visits and several procedures. It will also take months to complete the process to have it placed versus the weeks it will take for the other options.
Single Dental Implant vs a Bridge or Partial Denture
A dental implant offers many more benefits comparatively. A dental bridge will require the two adjacent teeth to be grinded down. The bridge itself will also have to be attached to these teeth adding a lot of pressure. With a single dental implant, no other teeth have to be damaged to have it placed.
A partial denture uses metal clasps that hold the replacement tooth in place. These metal clasps, however, may be noticeable while smiling. This restoration is also not very durable and can slip around and even fall out while eating or speaking. You have to care for it nightly in additional to your normal oral care routine. Since an implant is surgically placed in the jaw bone, it provides and very durable and stable base for the dental crown. It will not slip around or fall out and can be cared for in the same manner as your other natural teeth.