Unfortunately, tooth loss is a part of life for millions of Americans. If you have lost a tooth, there are several options for you to consider. At Southern Arizona Periodontics, we offer dental implants, because they are the ideal solution for tooth loss. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is surgically positioned underneath the gum tissue and into the jawbone. Implants can be used to support a variety of restorations. In the case of a single tooth, we use a porcelain dental crown. An implant-supported dental crown will look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth.

Dental Implant Process

During your consultation appointment, Dr. Susan Sharp will determine if an implant is right for you through a series of diagnostic procedures. Once we have determined an implant to be the best option, we can begin with treatment.

The implant process is typically broken up into several appointments. During your first appointment, we will make an incision into the gum tissue and place the implant into the jawbone. Once the implant is securely in place, we will suture the incision.

Over the next several months, your jawbone and the implant will undergo the process of osseointegration. Osseointegration allows the implant to fuse to the bone, which forms a powerful bond that can withstand the immense pressures of your bite.

After osseointegration is complete, we can schedule your second appointment. During this appointment, we make another incision to expose the implant. Then, an abutment, or support structure, is attached to the top of the screw. The abutment links the screw to your dental crown. Once the abutment is in place, we will take an impression and use it to fabricate your final restoration. This process can take several weeks. In the meantime, you will receive a temporary crown to protect the implant.

Once your final crown is ready, we can schedule your last appointment. During this appointment, we will remove the temporary and permanently attach your final crown to the abutment. In some instances, the abutment and the screw can be placed at the same time. This may shorten the entire process.

Single Implant Vs. A Traditional Bridge

Single tooth replacement with a dental implant offers some benefits over a traditional bridge. A bridge consists of two dental crowns and a pontic or false tooth. Instead of an implant, crowns are placed over the adjacent teeth. Over time, this can lead to structural damage. With an implant, your surrounding teeth remain unaffected. Implants also foster stronger bone.

Osseointegration allows the implant to provide the physical stimulation your bone needs to avoid deterioration. Unfortunately, traditional dental bridges merely fill the space created by a missing tooth. Implants also offer better longevity, durability, and easier maintenance. Traditional bridges have been known to break and usually require the use of a special cleaning appliance. For these reasons and more, a dental implant is the next best thing to your natural tooth!

Schedule Your Consultation

If you would like to learn more about single tooth replacement with a dental implant, call 520-322-9300, and schedule your consultation now!