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Single tooth implants

Single-Tooth Implants

Dental implants have changed the way that people have their teeth replaced. Over the years, many people have had one or more missing teeth replaced by implants. Whether it is partial or full implants, you can get the same look, feel, and function with your natural teeth. To get dental implants, contact our dentist St Albans for help.

Dental implants: what are they?

Dental implants are titanium cylinders or screws placed into the jawbone surgically in the spot where the tooth is missing. When these screws are in place, they make it possible for the dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. The crown, which is your new tooth, will be able to function, look and feel like your real teeth.

Who can get dental implants?

A lot of factors can influence the possibility of a patient getting dental implants. These factors can prevent some people from getting implants. Some of these factors include

  • Healthy gums
  • Strong bone support for the implant, or you can be a candidate for bone grafting
  • Excellent oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits to ensure the long term success and health of dental implants

The advantage of dental implants over some other dental procedures is that no adjacent teeth are affected or needs to be prepared to hold the replacement one in place. Other dental procedures like bridges and dentures are not very comfortable for some people because of factors like poor oral hygiene, lack of adequate bone support, gagging or discomfort.


You will find us at:

54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD

Cost of getting a dental implant

Dental implants are placed mostly by prosthodontists, periodontists and maxillofacial surgeons. This does not mean that general dentists cannot get additional training to learn how to place implants. You should know that implants are more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement. For this reason, most insurance carriers cover less than 10 per cent of the fees.

When can single-tooth implants be used?

Missing teeth can be replaced permanently with dental implants. For this to happen, the dentist will have to place the implant surgically into your jawbone. When the implant fuses with your jawbone, it becomes the new root for the artificial tooth. A crown is then attached to the implant to replace the missing tooth.

Note that this procedure is not for everyone. To be eligible for implants, the individual must have a jawbone strong enough to support the implant. Also, the tissue surrounding the nearby missing tooth and other nearby teeth must be in good health. If there is a situation where there is not enough bone to hold the implant, some additional bone will have to be added through a process known as bone grafting.

Single tooth implants: how does it work?

A single tooth implant has several parts, all of which have their functions.

  • The implant: this material is made of titanium and is shaped like a screw or post. It is placed into the jawbone surgically and will serve as the root for the artificial tooth.
  • The abutment: this material is made of either titanium, gold or porcelain. It is usually attached to the implant and is responsible for connecting the implant to the crown.
  • The crown: the crown is either made of porcelain fused to metal, made completely of porcelain or made completely of metal. The important thing is that the crown is made to match your other teeth. It is attached to the abutment.

Single-tooth implant process

Getting a tooth implant can take months; however, it is always worth it in the end. If your dentist examines your jawbone and discovers that it is not strong enough, the first thing you would have to go through would be bone grafting. Bone grafting is a process that involves taking bone from another source or using synthetic material and adding it to your jaw to make it stronger and able to support the implant. If this happens, you will have to wait 4 – 12 months for your jaw to heal before you get the implant.

Nonetheless, the processes involved in implants include the following


You will find us at:

54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD

1. Implant placement

To place the implant, you will have to undergo oral surgery. Normally, this will require the use of a local anaesthetic. During the surgery, the oral surgeon will cut into your gum to expose the bone. Holes are then drilled into the bone, which will serve as the point where the implants will be placed.

After the implants have been placed, there will still be a gap where your tooth is missing. For cosmetic reasons, your dentist may have to develop a temporary solution to fill in the gap.

2. Placing the abutment

When the implant has fused properly with your bone, your dentist may have to place a healing cap to help the gum tissue heal correctly. This can take about two weeks before the gum tissue heals perfectly before the abutment is placed.

When the cap is removed, the abutment is then screwed onto the implant. While you wait for your gums to heal completely, you will get a temporary crown placed.

3. Getting a crown

A final impression will have to be made by your dentist to create the crown. This impression will determine if the crown will either be screwed to the abutment or cemented to it to secure it in place permanently. After the crown has been placed, it can be treated just like your other teeth, including regular brushing and flossing to keep the gums healthy.

Possible complications that may arise

Like all other surgical operations, there are risks and complications involved. The most common complication that can arise is the failure of the implant. This can happen for several reasons, namely

  • Infection
  • The bite not being adequately adjusted
  • Putting pressure on the teeth through grinding or clenching
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Lack of regular preventive professional care

All these and more can contribute to the failure of dental implants in one way or another. Besides that, they can also lead to bone loss.

If the implant is used to replace a missing tooth on the lower jaw, there is the risk of a nerve being injured in the jawbone. This can cause tingling or numbness. The nerve can heal, or in some cases, it may not. Nonetheless, with the help of CT scans and x-rays, your dentist will see the location of the nerves before the surgery and prevent the possibility of an injury.

If the implant is placed in the upper jaw, there is the risk of sinus problems. Do not worry, however, because these risks are uncommon.

Finally, while implants are stressful to get, they end up being secure and durable, provided they are well cared for. If you have any concerns about how long they take or how to take care of them properly, be sure to reach out to our dentists at St Albans Dental Care and we will be sure to guide you through the implant procedure.