How Serious is a Single Missing Tooth?
When an adult loses a permanent tooth, the body responds by suspending the flow of vital nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, to the surrounding jawbone. Without these nutrients, the degradation of the bone tissue begins. Loss of bone density increases the risk of further tooth loss. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth may begin to drift towards the empty socket, as well. Soon, patients can develop unsightly, and even painful, dental misalignment. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that even a single missing tooth can threaten the stability of your smile.
What to Expect from the Single Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant is composed of a biocompatible titanium post that bonds with the bone tissue in the jaw. A custom-made and esthetically pleasing dental crown acts as the pontic, or replacement tooth. Once we have determined that you make a good candidate for dental implants, the process will include the following steps:
- First, the titanium post is placed into the socket of the missing tooth during the implant surgery.
- Next, your Park Ridge dentist will allow time for osseointegration, or the bonding of the metal to the bone. Waiting time can be anywhere from 0-6 months. You will have a temporary tooth in place during the healing period.
- Once anchored into place, an abutment will be added to the top of the post.
- Finally, a crown will be placed on the abutment, completing your new restoration.