Sometimes an unfortunate incident causes a person to lose a single tooth or perhaps even a few, leaving one with one or more gaps in ones mouth. When this happens, I, as the dentist, might suggest single dental implants and crowns to replace it/them. The dental implant will replace both the root of the lost natural tooth and the tooth itself.
The process for this is interesting and easy, but will depend on your individual needs after I have done a thorough assessment. The worst case scenario is that we find that there is too little bone to attach the tooth to and I will then have to build up bone first. The whole process could then take up to a year. However –even in this rare event there is nothing to worry about, as everything will be done with minimal discomfort to you.
The more likely and general process is a simple root-form procedure where I first make a small incision and the natural root is replaced by putting an implant that looks a bit like a screw or cylinder, into your jawbone. This ensures a secure foundation for the replacement tooth. We then wait between two to six months for the implant and the bone to fully bond and form a safe anchor for the tooth that will be placed on top. As you can no doubt imagine for yourself, this is very important. With the next appointment, I then make another incision to put a healing collar (to keep the gums in place for the permanent tooth) and a temporary crown (if you prefer) over the new ‘root’. I then have your replacement tooth/crown made for you, and once the bonding and healing have taken place to a satisfactory level, I just attach it to the screw by means of a small metal post, called an abutment. After this, you will have your new tooth or teeth.
My job will be done then, apart from suggested checkups. Dental implants are really natural-looking and can last up to 25 years, but as with normal teeth, this is provided you look after them properly by flossing and brushing daily.
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