Single Tooth Dental Implants

Graphic of Implant

Dental implants are small anchors made of a biocompatible metal called titanium that are placed in the jawbone. Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Once placed, the anchors begin to fuse with the bone over the course of a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth and help maintain the existing bone.

Step 1: Clinical and radiographic evaluation

The periodontist performs an initial examination (gingival tissue, health of adjacent teeth, space for implant crown, bite) and takes one or more x-rays (3D Scan) of the area to prepare for the procedure (evaluate bone height, roots of adjacent teeth).

Step 2: Implant Surgery

The implant fixture is placed. At this time, a temporary tooth is provided that allows you eat and function like normal almost immediately. The implant will need a few months to integrate with the jawbone before the next step is taken.

Step 3: Postoperative healing

Healing of the surgical area is quick with minimal discomfort. The implant fixture is allowed to heal beneath the gum tissue.

Step 4: Implant uncovering (healing abutment)

Following the healing (integration) period, the implant fixture is uncovered. A small tissue punch is made. The flat screw on top of the implant fixture is replaced with a longer one (the healing abutment), which sticks out of the gum. This gives the restorative dentist access to record the position of the implant fixture in the bone.

Step 5: Implant abutment and crown fabrication

The impression and tooth molds are sent to a dental laboratory, where the final abutment and implant crown are fabricated.

Step 6: Final result

The healing abutment is removed, the final abutment placed and the final crown was cemented and the bite checked. The esthetics of this case is excellent.

Step 7: 1 yr follow up x-ray

This x-ray demonstrates integration of the implant now in function with excellent bone levels. The patient has been diligent with both her homecare and dental recall visits.

Note: the adjacent teeth were not prepared/cut for a bridge and the patient is able to floss.