Can You Replace Just One Tooth With an Implant?
If you’re missing a tooth or you’ve been told that you’ll need to have one extracted, you may be researching your dental restoration options. Many people opt for a bridge, but if you’d prefer an implant, you’ll be glad to know that it’s possible to replace just one tooth with a single dental implant. Below, we explain how single tooth implants are installed, and we also explore the differences between implants and bridges.
How Are Single Dental Implants Installed?
If you opt to replace your missing tooth with one dental implant, your dentist will begin by making an incision in your gums and creating an opening in your jawbone. Then, they’ll place your implant—which will resemble a screw—into the opening. After repositioning your gums, they’ll close the incision using stitches.
You’ll likely have to wait two to six months for the implant to fuse with your jaw before you can proceed to the next step. Then, once the fusion process is complete, you’ll need to return to your dentist’s office so that they can place a prosthetic tooth on top of the implant.
Bridge or Single Tooth Implant: Which Is Right for You?
As was noted above, a dentist can also use a bridge to replace one missing tooth. Unlike with an implant, a dentist won’t anchor the bridge directly into your jawbone. Instead, they’ll attach it to the adjacent teeth using one or more crowns.
Choosing between a bridge and a dental implant for one tooth is a very personal decision, and your dentist can recommend the option that’s best suited to your specific needs. With that said, here are some factors to consider when making your selection:
- Durability– When compared to bridges, implants are typically more resilient and retain their natural-looking appearance for a longer period of time.
- Oral health– With bridges, the adjacent teeth need to be reshaped before the crowns can be attached. This isn’t the case with implants. Plus, unlike bridges, implants replace the missing tooth roots, which helps preserve the health of the jawbone.
- Turnaround time– If you’re looking for quick results, you may want to opt for a bridge. Bridges usually require only two trips to the dentist—one to reshape the adjacent teeth, create an impression, and install a temporary bridge, and another to install the permanent bridge—and the process can usually be completed in just a few weeks. Because implants require additional healing time between steps, the installation can take several months from start to finish.
- Cost– Bridges are usually less expensive than implants and are more likely to be covered by insurance. However, given that implants tend to last longer than bridges, implants often end up being a better value in the long run.
Top-of-the-Line Dental Implants Near You
Whether you need a single dental implant or multiple implants, you can rely on Burns Dentistry for treatment. We proudly offer free consultations for new patients at our offices in Sun City, Sun City West, and Litchfield Park, so contact us today to schedule an appointment at the location of your choosing. We look forward to meeting with you and telling you more about our implant dentistry services.