Dental Implants: Replacing a Single Tooth
One of the best features of dental implants is how highly customizable they are. Once a post is placed, it can be used with a variety of prosthetics to restore missing teeth and retain some level of your bone health. At Newport Dental Group, we offer a variety of implant options, including width, length, and the number of implants needed—just in case you end up needing multiple dental implants. We can work with the patient in creating a treatment plan that considers their current dental health, along with making a plan as changes occur. We can design your plan to fit a variety of needs. If you are only missing one tooth, we can help you determine if a single dental implant is right for you.
What is a Dental Implant?
Single tooth implants are the surgical placement of one titanium rod, once healed this can be used in combination with a single tooth replacement crown or to serve as one side of an anchor for another prosthetic. A dental implant is not a tooth but is the rebuilding of a firm foundation that can then be used to support a tooth.
Why is it Important to Replace a Missing Tooth?
A missing tooth can cause havoc with your oral health. You may want to ignore it, after all, you have so many more teeth, but, the evidence is clear.
Gaps and Shifting Teeth
For some, a missing tooth can have a large impact on their aesthetic, but for all, a missing tooth will lead to other problems. Gaps in our teeth leave room for neighboring teeth to roam. Teeth can drift into that spot causing changes and adjustments to your bite.
Malocclusion (Bad Bite)
Known as a malocclusion
, a bad bite can be very problematic. Malocclusions can cause pain or discomfort with your jaw, some patients experience problems opening or closing their mouths correctly, some patients experience facial pain in their brow or ear, and other patients even experience migraines, all due to a bad bite. Additionally, patients may find that they consciously make adjustments to their food choices because chewing with a missing tooth is uncomfortable, and some patients unconsciously chew with only the other side of their mouth adding unbalanced wear on their other teeth.
Changes to the Jawbone
Besides the problems listed above, the other large factor to consider when losing a tooth is the changes it will cause in your jawbone. Our jawbone, like all of our bones, needs exercise to stay healthy. Our jaw gets this needed exercise through the motion of chewing and the constant pressure we put on our teeth throughout the day. A missing tooth means that that portion of the jaw is no longer being exercised, and therefore it atrophies
or shrinks. You may not see a visible difference following the loss of one tooth, but lose two, three or more, and noticeable changes will become increasingly obvious. Your facial structure will be visibly smaller and sunken, giving what we have come to assume is an older appearance.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
Placing an implant is an in-office procedure often done with just a local anesthetic, although conscious sedation options are available. Before surgery, we may have to have the patient take simple steps such as adjusting medications, ensuring you can heal properly, and in many cases perform a bone graft to bulk up the existing jaw bone. We will review all information with you including the healing process and what to expect.
Ready to Replace Your Missing Tooth?
If you have lost a tooth, it is important to have ir replaced right away. Call Newport Dental Group today at (949) 574-0100 to schedule your consultation and find out if a single dental implant is right for you. We are your local dentist specializing in preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Newport Dental Group proudly serves the Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Irvine areas in California.