Thomas W. Mabry, DDS, PC
Periodontics and Dental Implants

Replacing a Single Tooth


The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult Dr. Mabry and your general dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

1: Before the procedure
Dr. Mabry does an examination and takes one or more x-rays of the area to prepare for the procedure. At this time various preparation procedures may need to be completed, such as tooth extraction and/or bone graft.  If this is the case, it will be 4 months before the implant is installed.
2: Installing the implant
The implant is installed. At this time, especially in the case of an anterior tooth, some type of a temporary tooth replacement is provided that allows you eat and function like normal almost immediately.  The implant will need 4 to 6 months, depending on the area of placement, to integrate with the jawbone before the next step is taken.
3: Attaching the new crown
The final step is the placement of the permanent ceramic tooth. As the implant is buried at the time of placement, the implant will be exposed at this time with a simple, short procedure and parts will be placed to prepare the implant for a ceramic crown.  At this time, the general dentist will take over and as with a natural tooth, take an impression of the area and fit it with a crown. The new tooth is installed for life.
4: End result
You should expect the new tooth to fit and function as a natural tooth. Do your usual oral hygiene routine to keep the tooth and gum around it clean and healthy. Six months after the placement of your ceramic crown, you will visit Dr. Mabry for a follow up, at which time an x-ray will be taken of the implant to evaluate the bone level and Dr. Mabry will verify that the occlusion of the implant is such that any stress on the implant is minimized.


  Tooth-supported fixed bridge
A traditional bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth to support the bridge. It is a stable solution with good esthetics and function that is fairly easy to install. However, this alternative has two main disadvantages: continuous bone resorbtion in the edentulous area, and sacrificing healthy teeth on behalf of the bridge.
  Removable partial denture
This is not a permanent alternative to a lost tooth. It is unstable and loosely attached, which affects both function and comfort. A removable partial denture is made of plastic – a material that can't create the same esthetic result as a ceramic crown. The benefits are few but do exist; adjacent teeth aren't affected, it is easily and quickly installed, and this option is also relatively inexpensive.
  Resin-bonded bridge
This alternative has some clear advantages: it is quickly installed, functions well, and, since it is made of ceramic, it gives a high esthetic result. Moreover, natural healthy teeth aren't affected. But it is not very permanent. The resin-bonded bridge will eventually come off – probably after just a couple of years – and the bridge will then have to be reinstalled.



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