Single-Tooth Implants with Dr. Ship

Did you know that dentures were once the only available option to replace missing teeth? In recent years, dental implants have become the preferred solution for missing teeth and are a more comfortable alternative to dentures and bridges.

When a single tooth is extracted, there are typically two options – a bridge or an implant. A bridge involves preparing (drilling on) the teeth on each side of the missing tooth. The teeth have to be prepared to fit a bridge, which is made of ceramic and is three “teeth” splinted together. Oftentimes this fitting process involves drilling on teeth that otherwise would not need to be drilled on. This is not optimal for teeth health, however it’s necessary for the procedure. Studies have shown that half of all bridges fail within 7 years, which is why I typically recommend implants as the preferred alternative.

Single-tooth implants are the standard of care for replacing missing teeth, or a single missing tooth in this instance. Contrary to bridges, multiple studies over decades show that implants placed in abundant bone have over a 98% success rate. Adjacent teeth are also spared as they do not have to be touched at all for the placement of an implant, which is better in the long run for oral health.

The disadvantage of replacing a single tooth with an implant is the length of time it takes to get the permanent tooth. It is normal to wait three months to put the crown on the implant. If that doesn’t seem feasible, we can talk about your options for same-day implant procedures to determine what is best for your needs. The wait time on single-tooth implants is needed for osseointegration, the healing period in which the bone grows into the implant. During the healing process, the patient is under strict guidelines to not bite anything with their front teeth. However, this is for the three-month healing process only.

Single-tooth implants have a very high success rate. The biggest advantage of these implants is the life expectancy of the implant following the procedure. This option is less expensive in the long run compared to bridges, which would need more replacements over time.

If you have missing teeth, deteriorating teeth or long-term dental issues, dental implants may be for you. Take the next step and schedule an appointment with me. We can talk through your options and determine what is best for your smile.