accessibility ACCESSIBILITY
Tampa Bay Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
James G. Wilson, DMD
Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology

Single Tooth Replacement

When a single tooth is missing, the two most common treatment options are the traditional tooth supported bridge and an implant supported crown. When a traditional bridge is used to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are cut down into peg shapes in order to fit the cemented bridge in place.

This method of tooth replacement can be very esthetic and functional for a period of time. However, a tooth supported bridges sacrifices the healthy tooth structure of the adjacent teeth and makes them more prone to future problems.  It also does not replace the bone that previously surrounded the root. Since there is no longer a root to hold the bone in place, the bone deteriorates, or melts away.

 Benefits of replacing a single missing tooth with an implant supported crown

  • It looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth
  • It is much more esthetic long term
  • It does not decay
  • There is no need to grind down the adjacent natural teeth
  • The bone is preserved, preventing a visible bony defect
  • It is more hygienic (easier to clean) than a tooth supported bridge

 


COURSE OF TREATMENT

INSTALLING YOUR IMPLANT AND IMPLANT SUPPORTED CROWN – STEP-BY-STEP

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult Dr. Wilson to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

 

   
1: Before the procedure
Dr. Wilson performs an examination and takes one or more x-rays of the area to prepare for the procedure.
2: Installing the implant
The implant is installed. At this time, a temporary tooth can be provided for esthetic replacement of the missing tooth.  The implant will need several weeks to integrate with the jawbone before the next step is taken.

 

 

   
3: Attaching the abutment and new crown
The restorative steps of implant treatment involve the placement of an abutment that connects the implant to a new crown fabricated by your dentist and a dental laboratory.  
4: End result
In most cases you should expect the new tooth to fit and function just like a natural tooth. Do your usual dental hygiene to keep the tooth and gums around it clean and 

 


 
ALTERNATIVES TO AN  IMPLANT SUPPORTED CROWN

 

  Tooth-supported fixed bridge
A traditional bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth to support the bridge. It is a stable solution with good esthetics and function that is fairly easy to install. However, this alternative has two main disadvantages: continuous bone resorption in the area where the tooth is missing, and sacrificing healthy teeth on behalf of the bridge.
  Removable partial denture
This is not an ideal permanent alternative to a lost tooth. Partial dentures are unstable and loosely attached, which affects both function and comfort. A removable partial denture is made of plastic or a combination of plastic and metal.  The  hooks that assist in retaining partial dentures can worsen periodontal disease and cause loosening of teeth they are attached to.  The benefits are few but do exist: adjacent teeth aren't affected. It is easily and quickly installed and relatively inexpensive . 

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