Single Tooth Replacement with Implant Crown
If you are one of Lakeland’s many residents who are missing one or more teeth, Dr. Sean Walcott can help you restore the form, function, and appearance of your smile. Although patients are often eager to fill gaps that are visible when they smile, there should also be concern for lost back teeth that aren’t as visible. Even a small gap in your mouth can cause major oral health issues, as your surrounding teeth shift to fill the space, the jawbone tissue beneath your lost tooth deteriorates, and bacteria accumulate in the vulnerable pockets of the gums left behind. Over time, tooth alignment and jaw structure may change significantly.
There are many reasons you may have lost a single tooth or require an extraction. For example:
- Severe Decay: If a cavity has spread such that it impedes the basic function and structure of a tooth, a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown may be insufficient to repair it.
- Dental Trauma: Cracked, chipped, fractured, or broken teeth may not be reparable. A severe blow may knock out a tooth entirely.
- Gum Disease: In the more advanced stage of infection, called periodontitis, the gums can begin to pull away from the tooth and infection may destroy its root.
In these situations, the best treatment is to remove the tooth and prepare the extraction site for a dental implant and implant crown.
Advantages of Implant Treatment Over Traditional Crown and Bridge Treatment
A traditional dental bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth. It consists of two crowns placed over the healthy teeth on either side of the gap, and a prosthetic tooth, suspended between the crowns. These 3-unit dental bridges do not exercise the jawbone tissue under the missing tooth, and this typically leads to bone loss. In order to place the crowns, teeth have to be made smaller to fit the crowns, damaging healthy tooth structure. The placement of a dental implant and implant crown is a more conservative approach, leading to healthier bone tissue and natural appearance long term.
What to Expect
If you have a single implant placed, Dr. Walcott will make a small incision into the gum tissue at the gap and insert a titanium post into the jawbone. Over about two months, this biocompatible post will integrate with your natural tissue through the natural process of osseointegration. Once fixed in your jawbone, it takes the place of your missing tooth’s root. A custom-made dental crown will be attached to your implant using an abutment. Implant-supported crowns require no modification of surrounding teeth, are very stable and long lasting. They create a natural, attractive appearance. You will care for your implant-supported crown just as you would a natural tooth. Sometimes, the bone tissue at an implant site requires enhancement with a bone graft prior to implant placement. Although this typically adds another two months to the implant process, it will ensure the success of your implant. If a tooth is being extracted by Dr. Walcott prior to placing an implant, he will fill the cavity left in the jaw bone with osseous material. Once that integrates with your bone tissue over a period of about two months, your preserved bone ridge will be ready for an implant.
Call for your free first appointment!
Dr. Walcott offers a complimentary (no fee) initial dental implant consultation, including free digital x-rays and a 3D cone beam CT scan if one is needed. If you have lost a single tooth, it is very important to restore it. To learn what Dr. Walcott would recommend for you, please contact our Lakeland, FL oral surgery practice today to schedule your consultation.