Single Tooth & Bridge Implants
Single Tooth Dental Implant
Acting as long-term treatments for tooth loss, single-tooth dental implants are permanent fixtures rooted in the jawbone. Using a titanium rod, an oral surgeon anchors the rod into the jaw using the hole created by the patient’s missing tooth. A small device is then attached to the top of the titanium rod that acts as a “saddle” for a custom-made fixture that mimics the appearance of the rest of the patient’s teeth; this fixture is called a crown. Crowns look and feel natural and do not affect a patient’s ability to speak or eat.
By replacing one single tooth and avoiding the conventional bridge approach, the adjacent teeth are preserved. Dental implants come in various sizes of length and width. Since molars typically do most of the work during chewing, using an implant of maximum size is always preferred. By determining the exact jaw dimensions prior to implant surgery, the implant team is able to decide on just the right implant for the tooth to be replaced. Dental CT scan technology is used to plan the implant surgery in a precise manner by using computer assisted planning software.
A dental bridge, as the name implies, bridges the gap where a tooth once was. It involves replacing a missing tooth with a false tooth which is bonded to your natural teeth on either side of the gap. The diagram shows how a bridge is fitted.
Both dental bridges and implants can restore your natural smile, and both are discreet options for replacing missing teeth.
Wear over time
While implants can last as long as natural teeth if you look after them well, a dental bridge can weaken over time due to this pressure and the fact that the supporting teeth have been filed away. A dental bridge will eventually require restoration treatment, but you can ensure it lasts for many years by looking after it well.
A dental bridge secures the adjacent teeth and stops them from shifting, but, unlike an implant, it doesn’t have a screw placed into the jaw to fill the socket of the missing tooth, so a bridge doesn’t prevent bone loss over time.
An implant functions like a real tooth with a root and your jaw will remain strong as you age, preventing bone loss which can impact your face shape.