Even one missing tooth can impact your oral health. Replacing a missing tooth is essential for many reasons, including maintaining functional teeth and gums. Restoring lost teeth can also help improve your confidence to smile around others. Dr. Vernon Sheen can replace a missing tooth with a single dental implant in his Annapolis, MD, office.
Dental implants are high-quality restorations that replace teeth at the root. They are the most natural-looking and sustainable option for replacing a single tooth. An implant is a surgically implanted titanium post that replaces the missing root structure. A single dental implant comprises a metal post, abutment, and crown.
We place the post or anchor in the jaw bone during dental implant treatment. The abutment connects the post and the crown. We recommend tooth crowns made of tooth-colored materials like ceramic or porcelain. Our office color-matches these materials to the shade of surrounding natural teeth.
Why Replace A Missing Tooth?
A missing tooth can cause complex oral health and overall health concerns. The surrounding teeth can shift towards the gap when you lose a permanent tooth. This can lead to bite problems. Many issues can surface once your teeth are out of alignment, including TMJ disorders, gum disease, and tooth decay.
TMJ disorders are bite disorders caused by stress and anxiety. However, missing teeth can lead to bite problems because the missing tooth gap creates an uneven bite. Biting and chewing with a gap in your mouth can put more pressure on the teeth and jaw. Left untreated, missing teeth can create problems like jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty biting and chewing.
Food debris can collect in the missing tooth socket. This can attract harmful bacteria and increase your chance of a gum or tooth infection. If you lose a tooth because of gum disease or tooth decay, you risk losing more permanent teeth to infection.
The tooth’s root helps stimulate the jawbone. This is necessary to prevent bone loss. When a tooth is missing, the bone is no longer stimulated. Eventually, the jaw bone will deteriorate.
Investing in Implants
The sooner you replace your tooth, the better your chances of avoiding dental complications. Dr. Sheen will recommend an implant-secured dental crown due to its many benefits. A dental implant invests in improved oral health, confidence, and well-being.
Dr. Vernon Sheen offers a single implant anchored dental crown for patients missing one tooth in Annapolis, MD. He provides pre-treatment planning and implant restoration part of the dental implant procedure.
Dr. Sheen will coordinate the surgical phase with a local Annapolis area oral surgeon. He will follow up with you to ensure optimal healing. Dr. Sheen also offers multiple dental implant options if you miss more than one tooth.
Am I a Candidate for a Single Dental Implant?
Despite popular belief, overall health is the most critical factor, not age. If you are healthy enough for oral surgery, we can replace your missing tooth with an implant-secured crown.
You should generally have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to hold the implant. If you have gum disease, we must provide treatment to restore your health. This is also true if you experience cavities or tooth decay.
The longer you wait to replace a missing tooth, the more jaw bone you can lose. According to most studies, you can lose up to twenty-five percent of your bone mass after a year.
However, if you do not have enough jaw bone for an implant, we can help. Bone grafting takes healthy bone from another part of the mouth and places it where needed.
Finally, you must be committed to a daily oral hygiene routine to be a good implant candidate. This will ensure the success and longevity of your implant. As with natural teeth, you must brush and floss between your implant crowns to prevent bacterial buildup. We will provide oral hygiene tips to help you care for your implant.
The Single Dental Implant Process in Annapolis, MD
To begin the dental implant process, Dr. Sheen will take dental impressions of the mouth. These impressions ensure that the final crown fits perfectly. Then, an oral surgeon numbs the mouth to place the single implant post in the jaw bone. The surgeon places a healing cap or temporary restoration as the implant heals.
Over a three- to six-month period, the titanium post will fuse with the natural bone, helping it support the jaw structure. This healing process is called osseointegration. Once the implant heals, it will provide a secure base for the attachment of the dental restoration.
Dr. Sheen will then secure a dental crown to the implant once it’s fully healed in his Annapolis, MD, dentist’s office. The crown will be custom-designed to fit a natural tooth’s shape, size, and shade.
Caring for Single Implants
After the surgeon places your implant, it’s essential to care for your new replacement tooth gently. While dental implant treatment has a high success rate, implants can fail if you do not take proper care.
We recommend that you avoid tobacco products as your implants heal. The nicotine in tobacco decreases blood flow to the jaw bone and gums. This means it can take longer for your implants to heal if you smoke or vape. It’s also possible that your implants will not heal if you continue to use tobacco products.
In addition, gently brush and floss around your new tooth. You can prevent peri-implantitis or an implant infection by removing harmful bacteria from your mouth.
Why Should You Choose an Implant Over a Bridge?
A dental bridge is a restoration that can replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. While a bridge can replace a single missing tooth, we recommend a single implant over a bridge. A traditional bridge uses the support of natural teeth on either side of a missing tooth gap.
A bridge requires tooth preparation. We must prepare teeth for crowns to support the bridge. Implants do not need preparation, meaning we can preserve the remaining natural teeth.
Schedule an Implant Consultation
See why a single dental implant is the preferred solution for a missing tooth by dentists and patients. Contact the dental office of Dr. Vernon Sheen in Annapolis, MD, to schedule an appointment. You can also call (443) 482-5202.