Three Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Implant

Dental implant smileYou have choices when replacing missing or damaged teeth. What is the best option?  The answer really depends on a variety of factors:

  1. Location of the missing tooth
  2. Condition of the adjacent teeth
  3. Medical and Dental History of the Patient
  4. Cost Consideration

In this three part blog we will be comparing and contrasting:

Fixed Bridge vs. Dental Implant vs. Removable Partial Denture

Option 3: Dental Implant

Dental Implant Mimics a Natural ToothA dental implant and crown is an excellent way to replace a missing tooth.  A dental implant and restoration mimic a natural tooth very closely in shape and function.

The first step is the placement of the dental implant which is shaped like a tooth root.  Once the root-form implant has healed into the bone (usually 3-6months), it is ready to be restored by the dentist.  The first step of restoration is the fabrication of an abutment.  An abutment should be thought of as a tooth that is prepared for a crown.  The Abutment should continue the root form emergence of the implant with a flared transition to a porcelain crown.  Because the contours of the implant and abutment mimic natural tooth so closely this paves the way for a very natural appearing porcelain crown

The advantages of a dental implant retained crown are that the adjacent teeth are not a factor.  Each tooth (or implant) remains its individual unit.  So the teeth can be cleaned function like natural teeth.  Additionally, a dental implant cannot get tooth decay and can be placed in any area of the mouth making them a very dependable and functional solution.

However there are disadvantages of dental implants.  The length of time from loss of tooth to permanent replacement with a dental implant is often long (3 to 6 months).  Also the reason for the loss of the natural tooth can also impact a dental implant – dental implants are susceptible to periodontal disease, grinding, and trauma.  Additionally, a patient’s medical history can have a large impact on an implants success.  The placement of an implant is a surgical procedure and requires a healthy individual who is able to tolerate the anesthesia and where the implant will integrate successfully into the bone.  (Smoking is a contraindication)

While dental implants are the closes option to replacing a natural tooth they are also the most expensive.  The cost of replacing a single tooth is often between $4000 – $5000.  Further, many dental insurances companies do not cover the cost of dental implants.  It is important to talk to your dentist and do your research to figure out what option is the best for you.

*More information can be found about dental implants in our blog: Dental Implants

Today’s post was written personally by Drs. David and Janna Civils. Do you have a question for either Dr. David or Dr. Janna?  We would love to hear from you!

Drs. David and Janna Civils

1114 Magnolia Street 
Greensboro, NC

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3 Responses to Three Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Implant

  1. Arrif says:

    Great to see you taking such a proactive approach to dental implants, thanks for writing a great blog with so much detail for the patient

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  3. Sunset Barns says:

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