Ronald C. Kobernick, DDS, MScD, PA
Periodontics
10601 Seminole Blvd, Largo, FL & 111 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL
727-397-8503

Dental Implants: Replacing a Single Tooth

If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.

What are the advantages of a single-tooth dental implant over a bridge?

A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. The other common treatment for the loss of a single tooth, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, requires that adjacent teeth be ground down to support the cemented bridge.

In the long term, a single implant can be more aesthetic and easier to keep clean than a bridge. The area can be flossed normally without having to thread it under the components of a bridge.

Procedure

During the diagnostic phase, impressions of your teeth are taken, with the resulting models mounted on an articulator, a device that simulates your occlusion (bite), to make certain an implant is the best option to replace the missing tooth. A CT scan is taken to study the site of the proposed implant. The area is evaluated to make certain there is adequate width and length of bone in the area for the implant, and that there are no nerves or other anatomic structures that might be involved with implant placement. A consultation to discuss Dr. Kobernick's findings, clarify the implant procedure, and answer any questions you might have will follow. A surgical guide is created to make certain the implant is placed precisely, in the most optimal position. Thereafter, topical (gel) anesthetic is applied, and local anesthetic is gently placed into the area. The implant, which is made of surgical grade titanium and looks like a screw, is placed into the jaw bone in the site of the missing tooth, using digital (immediate) radiographs to be certain of precise placement. Over the next three to six months of healing, the implant and the bone are allowed to integrate (bond together) to form an anchor for your artificial tooth. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement can be worn over the implant site.

A second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implant and attach an extension. This small metal posts (an abutment), completes the foundation on which your new tooth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal several weeks following this procedure

Finally, a replacement tooth called a crown will be created by your restorative dentist and attached to the abutment. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.

10601 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL 33778 P: 727-397-8503 F: 727-398-2679

390 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 P: 727-397-8503