Why is it important to replace a single missing tooth? An implant restored with a crown has several advantages. The implant stops the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost, and it prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space. Unlike replacing the tooth with a traditional bridge, there
is no need to reduce the size of neighboring teeth. The crown with implant also looks and feels like your natural teeth when you chew and talk.
What is the process of replacing a single missing tooth with an implant? First a simple procedure is performed to place the implant. For the surgical placement of the implant, your mouth is thoroughly numbed. An opening is made in your gums, and then a channel is shaped in the bone to receive the implant.
Next, we place the body of the implant into the prepared channel. Sometimes a cover is placed onto the implant and the gums are stitched closed. This method is called a two-stage procedure. In other cases that allow a single-stage procedure, an extension is attached to the implant at the time of surgery.
Healing may take several months as the implant becomes fused securely to the bone. During this time, we may place a temporary replacement tooth.
How is the crown placed on the implant? Many different implant companies exist and the process may be slightly different for each. Generally we will take an impression of your teeth and use this impression to record the position of your dental implant. That impression can be either sent to a lab or be used in the dental office (utilizing CAD/CAM i.e. CEREC). The lab uses the impressions to make an accurate model of your mouth, including the implant. They use the model to create a crown that precisely fits the implant and your bite.
When your beautiful final crown is ready, we check the fit and your bite, and then secure the crown to the implant.