The Advantages of Single Tooth Implants

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

Implant placement and restoration is quickly becoming the standard of care for most patients requiring replacement of a single tooth.  But implant placement and restoration is not routinely taught to undergraduate dental students and most clinicians choose to either refer this service outside their offices or seek out post-graduate training that teaches them the skills they need to treatment plan, place and restore these restorations.  Some clinicians place but do not restore implants.  Others just restore these restorations that have been placed outside their offices.  Here, at Spring Lake Dental Group, we have the technology and experience to both place and restore your implant restorations!

According to Dr. Carl Misch, a leading expert in the field of dental implants and the author of one of the authoritative texts in dental implantology, the advantages of single tooth implants are:

  1. High success rates (above 97% for ten years)
  2. Decreased rate of caries (cavities) of adjacent teeth
  3. Decreased risk of endodontic (root canal) problems on adjacent teeth
  4. Improved ability to clean the proximal surfaces of the adjacent teeth
  5. Improved maintenance of bone in the edentulous site
  6. Decreased cold or contact sensitivity of adjacent teeth
  7. Psychological advantage (the patient feels and functions as is they were their natural teeth)
  8. Decreased abutment tooth loss

Most patients will look at their options of replacing a missing tooth and elect to place a three unit bridge (a dental restoration that gets cemented into the mouth after cutting down the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth.)  Bridges are very acceptable restorations in the right scenario (it is all about treatment planning and having great communication with your doctor), but a lot of patients choose a bridge because they perceive it as being a more affordable solution.  Dr. Misch disagrees and states in his textbook, ”Economical considerations may play in disfavor of the implant reatoration only during the first 7 years.  The single-tooth implant becomes more advantageous economically, not only for health considerations, after the break-even point of seven years, at which time the patient will not need a replacement restoration.  The savings will offset the initial higher cost.”.

We, at Spring Lake Dental Group, are very mindful of your pocketbook and other financial issues.  Each time you come in, we want you to know: what we are going to do, why we are going to do it, and how much it is going to cost as well as other relevant insurance issues, if any. Implant therapy is expensive, as is almost all oral health care therapy.  Delivering that care in a meticulous, kind, caring and technically proficient manner has always been our goal.  The process always starts with having a great conversation with your care providers.  I hope that you will find that we are very adept at educating your about your options so that you are comfortable in our recommendations.

Interested in implant placement? Call us today or talk to your dentist at your next visit, 910-497-3200!