If you are missing a tooth or teeth, or have extractions planned in the future, a dental implant may be the solution you are looking for to replace the missing tooth. Actually, “dental implant” is a catch-all phrase which actually refers to at least two separate dental processes.
What that phrase really encompasses, is the surgical placement of a titanium cylinder into the bone followed by a crown that is affixed to the titanium cylinder after a period of healing. So, in reality, what you are looking for is a dental implant with an implant supported crown. Often times a periodontist or an oral surgeon will perform the surgical placement of the titanium cylinder, and your general dentist or prosthodontist will fabricate the crown that is affixed to it.
In the case seen below, the patient has a broken down front left tooth (A). The tooth was extracted and a dental implant was placed (B). During the healing time, the patient wore an acrylic prosthesis so there wouldn’t be a missing tooth showing. After allowing the implant to heal in the bone, a crown was placed on the dental implant (C) to match the other front tooth.
It is important to know that In order to place a dental implant, there must be a sufficient amount of bone at the site where the implant will go. In some cases, bone grafting prior to implant placement is the only way to get enough bone in the area to be able to place a dental implant.
Also it is important to have the correct type and amount of soft tissue in the area, so a periodontist may be necessary to perform soft tissue augmentation procedures in the area.
Dental implants and their restorations can be a wonderful alternative to missing teeth! If you are interested in dental implants, please contact the Kelsey Periodontal Group for a consultation.