How to Care for Your Single Tooth Implant

Millions of Americans have missing teeth. Perhaps you or a loved one has lost a single adult tooth due to a facial blow or infection. Whatever the reason, we urge you not to ignore a missing tooth. The gap left behind can lead to problems ranging from bone loss to shifting around of your remaining teeth, which can lead to changes in your smile, pain, and difficulties with smiling, chewing, and talking.

At First Class Dental Care, our Sioux Falls dentist team has a range of options to offer our patients who are missing one or a few teeth. If you’re frustrated by partial dentures, not seeing the results you want with a crown, or currently have no plan to correct your tooth loss, we encourage you to contact us and ask us about single tooth implants. Let’s help you determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure!

What is a Single Tooth Implant? 

A single tooth implant is a dental product permanently inserted into the jaw in the space left behind by a missing tooth. If you have one or a few teeth missing on your upper or lower jaw, this product might be a great option for you.

Research shows us that dental implants have a very high success rate—upwards of 98% with proper care! Our Sioux Falls dentist, Dr. Beecroft, has extensive training and experience, as well as access to the most up-to-date implant technology, to ensure his patients have the best possible outcomes with their implants.

Basic Components of the Single Tooth Dental Implant

Several types of single mouth implants exist; our Sioux Falls dentist is happy to help you choose the correct one for your oral health goals.

The basic components of single tooth dental implants include:

  • The implant screw, which is inserted directly into the jawbone during an in-office surgical procedure. Dental implant screws are typically made of durable material like titanium that can fuse with your jaw bone over time to improve its stability. This implant serves as the anchor or synthetic root to your new replacement tooth and becomes a permanent part of your jawline!
  • The abutment is a separate piece of material attached to the top of the implant screw. It serves as the connecting point between the dental restoration and the screw itself.
  • The restoration, which is the material that looks and functions like a real tooth and is attached to the abutment component. Restorations are made with durable material like porcelain and are specially designed in a laboratory to match the size, shape, and appearance of your surrounding teeth, ensuring that your results are so real-looking people won’t even realize it’s prosthetic!

To make the restoration, we’ll take an impression of your mouth and send this off to our lab where the prosthetic is made. Depending on the type of restoration we use, it may be removable or non-removable.

Do I Need a Single Tooth Implant?

People of all ages—from young adults to seniors—have single tooth implants…you just may not realize it because good implants are incredibly realistic-looking! Common reasons for needing a single tooth implant include sports accidents, car accidents, and other types of physical trauma leading to tooth loss or fracture, or an infected tooth that require extraction.

Research suggests that the sooner a single tooth implant is inserted following the loss of the original tooth, the less likely it is that bone loss will occur. This means even a single tooth implant isn’t just about improving your confidence and the aesthetic appearance of your smile—although that’s important, too!

And unlike dentures, dental implants are low maintenance and can be treated just like regular teeth, making them easy to work into your normal oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing.

Dental implants are incredibly durable and long-lasting, and because they are securely implanted into your jawline, you don’t have to worry about them coming loose or clicking while you’re talking and eating, which is a common problem we hear from patients with ill-fitting dentures.

Getting A Single Tooth Implants in Sioux Falls, SD: What to Expect

The first step of any dental implant process is to schedule a comprehensive dental exam, cleaning, and X-ray imaging. It’s important to ensure that your gums, jaw bones, and remaining teeth are as healthy as possible in order to improve your long-term success with a single tooth implant.

If Dr. Beecroft identifies gum disease, cavities, or other oral health issues, he’ll work with you right away to get these issues treated before getting your implant process started or deciding on an alternate solution if necessary.

On the day of the implant procedure, Dr. Beecroft and his team will insert the implant screw via a surgical procedure. We can do this right in our office using local anesthesia for your comfort and convenience. The screw is inserted directly into the jaw bone near the space left by your missing tooth. The exact type of implant you’ll need depends on factors unique to your situation, including the implant type and whether the restoration component will be removable or non-removable.

Once we’ve inserted your implant screw, it’s important to allow a few months to go by before adding the abutment and prosthetic tooth. This is to ensure the screw fuses correctly into your jaw bone. At your scheduled follow-up, we’ll attach the additional components and voilà—a new smile!

As with any surgical procedure or medical product, there is a small amount of risk associated with dental implant surgery. This may include bleeding, infection, some pain, and anesthesia complications. Our Sioux Falls dentist is thorough during his pre-operative assessment to ensure that these risks are minimized and that your outcomes are optimal!

We also encourage you to call our office with any concerns or questions about your implants. In the rare instance that a complication has occurred, such as an underlying bone infection, we want to get you into our clinic as soon as possible so that any issues can be addressed.

What’s It Like to Live with a Single Tooth Implant

Are implants better than dentures? Do implants come out? How do I brush my teeth with a single tooth implant? These are questions we hear all the time from our patients about dental implants.

Deciding whether a crown, partial dentures, or an implant is best for you is a highly personal decision that our team can help you make with confidence. The good news is that having a dental implant is very similar to having your normal teeth!

Dental implants are permanently inserted into your jaw bone, meaning they won’t fall out or get loose, provided that your jaw bone tissue remains healthy. (Restoration components may be removable or replaceable, but the underlying screws that anchor them in place should stay put). Prosthetic teeth also aren’t prone to decay like real teeth are.

Individual results of single tooth dental implants vary, depending on factors like overall gum health. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing (yes, even around your implant!) is a must for your long-term success.

Are You a Candidate for a Single Tooth Implant?

If you’re interested in learning more about single tooth implants or want to explore your smile restoration options, contact First Class Dental Care at (605) 231-9544 orEmail Us and schedule an appointment with our experienced Sioux Falls dentist, Dr. Beecroft.

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