One of the most common dental issues in adults is missing teeth. This can be the result of a variety of problems, from genetics to poor oral hygiene. You may be missing only one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. One of the most popular tooth restoration options we offer at Springhill Dental Health Center is a single-tooth implant in Mobile, AL. This will allow you to replace a single missing tooth or can be a support for multiple tooth replacements
The process of getting dental implants requires several different steps, with several different healing times in between. After any pre-treatments are taken care of, the first step is implant placement. The incision will heal within a few days to a couple of weeks- but osseointegration takes several weeks to months.
Once osseointegration has taken place, the implant is secure in your jawbone. The abutment will be placed on top of the implant. We will place a healing cap on top of the abutment to keep the incision from closing. In a few weeks, your crown will be returned to the office and we will be able to place it.
Dr. Scott and the team at Springhill Dental Health Center want you to be aware that there are benefits and limitations associated with dental implants, just like there are with other tooth restoration options. Below, we’ll explain both of these to help you make a decision on your treatment plan.
Dental implants are often referred to as the “gold standard” in tooth restoration procedures because they look, function, and feel the most like natural teeth. Below are some of the benefits of single-tooth implants.
Dental implants are more functional than other tooth replacement procedures.
Dentures, while more affordable, often don’t fit comfortably or slip around in the mouth. This slippage can cause issues when chewing and speaking and may require you to make modifications to your diet.
However, dental implants allow you to continue with your normal habits because the implant is inserted into the jawbone. You won’t have to worry about it moving around in the mouth. You will need to practice proper oral hygiene habits to avoid implant failure.
Dental implants are made of 3 parts: implant, abutment, and crown. The implant itself is typically made of titanium or zirconia and should last a lifetime- as long as you care for it properly. The crown will eventually require replacement due to wear and tear but should last at least 10 to 15 years. Dentures, on the other hand, may only last 5 to 7 years before needing to be replaced or adjusted.
The only part of the dental implant that is visible above the gums is the crown- which can be made of a variety of materials including porcelain, composite resin, or zirconia, and custom-made to match the rest of your teeth in shape, size, and color. When made well, most people won’t even notice that you have it.
Other tooth restoration options, such as dentures and bridges, are often obvious.
Dental implants offer several health benefits over other tooth restoration options:
Diet: just one missing tooth can cause problems with chewing foods, which means you must change your diet. This can impact your overall health and well-being because you often must switch to softer foods that are typically less nutrient-dense. Dental implants allow you to chew normally, which means you can maintain your normal diet.
Bone health: the roots of your natural teeth stimulate the jawbone, helping maintain it. A dental implant does the same thing because it is inserted into the jawbone and acts as an artificial tooth root.
Gum disease: missing teeth can cause your gum to recede and increase your risk of developing gum disease because it creates a pocket where bacteria can live. This risk is much higher with dentures and bridges because bacteria can get under them and grow. As long as you practice proper oral hygiene, just as you would with natural teeth, you can reduce your risk of gum disease with dental implants.
Mental health: missing teeth can cause you to feel self-conscious about how you look, eat, and talk. Dental implants are stable and allow you to function normally. You don’t have to worry about slipping and clicking like you would with dentures or bridges.
While dental implants do have a lot of great benefits, there are also some limitations that you need to be aware of:
Dental implants look, feel, and function the most like natural teeth. Therefore, they are the most expensive when it comes to tooth restoration treatments. On average, a single-tooth implant costs between $1,500 and $6,500- and that’s just the implant and the procedure. This does not take into account any additional procedures required.
It’s important to note that there are certain criteria that must be met in order to qualify for dental implants. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone no longer has that stimulation to keep it healthy, so it will begin to deteriorate. You may also have thinning gums, which will allow the implant to show through. There are some ways around these issues, such as bone grafts. However, this will add to the cost and the healing time.
Before proceeding with dental implants, your oral and overall health must be good. If you have gum disease, you’ll need to have it treated before implants can be placed. As mentioned, if you have jawbone deterioration, you’ll need bone grafts before moving forward with this treatment. Also, if you have diabetes, you’ll need to make sure that you have that under control before implants can be placed.
Placement of dental implants requires surgery, which means there is a lot of recovery time required. If you need additional procedures, such as bone grafts or gum disease treatment, the process may take a year or more. Also, for the surgery itself, we typically use local anesthesia- but for patients with dental anxiety, we offer sedation, which has some risks associated with it.
Single-tooth implants are used for patients who are only missing one tooth. Implants may also be used to support a bridge of overdenture in patients who are missing multiple teeth in a row.
Your dental insurance may or may not provide coverage for dental implants. Our friendly office staff will work with your provider to determine your coverage. For patients without dental insurance or with inadequate coverage, we offer financing through CareCredit. This program allows you to pay for your treatment upfront and then make smaller, more budget-friendly payments over time.
Even one single tooth can have a significant impact on your life and your smile. Therefore, don’t wait, get it replaced as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. Dr. Scott will examine your mouth and take x-rays to determine if you could benefit from a single tooth implant.
Single Tooth Implant
The team at Springhill Dental Health Center understands that dental treatments can be confusing. If you’re like most people, you have some questions. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get when it comes to dental implants.
On average, a single-tooth implant will cost $1,500 to $6,500 for the implant and the surgery for placement. Additional procedures add to this cost.
There are two types of dental implants:
You can also choose whether you want titanium or zirconia implants. Both are biocompatible and both last for a long time. Zirconia does have a few additional benefits over titanium but are often more expensive
The entire process of getting a dental implant will take at least a few months. This is because there are multiple steps involved, with healing time between. For patients who require additional procedures such as gum disease treatment and bone grafts, the process may take a year or more.
“I was miserable with my lower dentures. Now I can eat anything. They are as solid and secure as my natural teeth were 25 years ago.”
“Having implants done is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Dr. Scott and his staff are wonderful, and are so good about helping me keep my implants healthy.”
“Go for it! They are worth far more than I ever dreamed. I’d do them again in a second.”