Single Tooth Dental Implant FAQs

Posted on: February 12, 2020

Dental Implant Bellevue, WA

For those considering single tooth dental implant surgery for the first time, the procedure may seem unclear or overwhelming. This list of frequently asked questions will hopefully provide clarity and peace of mind to those anxious about the process.

What are dental implants?

During this procedure, the roots of teeth are replaced with metal screws that fuse into the jawbone. An extension is attached to this, allowing for the insertion of an artificial replacement tooth, otherwise known as a crown.

When are dental implants needed?

Dental implants are necessary to keep crowns in place. These crowns provide a substitute for lost adult teeth that do not grow back. If not addressed, missing teeth can cause speech and chewing disorders, bone loss and altered teeth lines.

How do implants compare to a bridge?

A major benefit of implants is that they do not affect the surrounding teeth. While dental bridges also fill the gap between teeth, they rely on bonding the new false teeth to surrounding natural teeth. This can cause strain on these supporting teeth. Additionally, implants can be used to fill the gaps of multiple neighboring teeth, whereas bridges require teeth adjacent to the filling to hold it in place.

What should be expected?

Every case is different, but the average case for implant installation can take close to a year. Many steps are involved, and consultations with multiple professionals may be required.

What happens before the procedures?

The initial steps should involve a consultation with either a prosthodontist or a specially trained dentist. During this consultation, a healthcare worker reviews a patient’s medical history, creates a mold for teeth and gums and takes X-rays of structures inside the mouth. These steps determine if the jawbone is strong enough to support the implants or if additional steps need to be taken.

What happens during the procedures?

If a partial tooth needs to be taken out, that needs to happen first. Once the gums are ready for implants, the first procedure should be scheduled. During this first official phase, the dental implant is placed into the part of the jaw where the missing tooth should be. After a predetermined period of four to seven months, the jaw should recover, and the second phase can commence. Here, extensions are added to eventually connect implant to crown and shield the gums from getting caught in the implants, and a temporary crown protects these new pieces while recovering from surgery. Finally, after anywhere from six to 13 months from the start depending on different variables, the final stage sees the permanent crown replace the temporary one.

What happens after the procedures?

Like any other dental operation, recovering from this type of surgery can feature swelling, pain and even bleeding around the treatment site. Pain medications or antibiotics may be necessary for the following week or two. After these discomforts go away, take care of new implants by cleaning them the same way as normal teeth: Brushing and flossing.


Teeth must be taken care of properly in order to keep them healthy. However, should any ever fall out or become damaged past the point of use, a dental implant can be used to restore a beautiful smile.

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