While there are a number of options available to replace a missing tooth, dental implants are the method of choice because of the unparalleled benefits they offer. Patients missing a single tooth can receive an implant-supported crown that matches the look and feel of their remaining teeth. At the Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry in Charleston, SC, Dr. John F. Rink is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry-accredited doctor who can restore implants with beautiful, lifelike crowns.
An implant-supported crown is an artificial tooth that is connected to a titanium screw surgically inserted into your jawbone. The dental implant replaces the missing tooth root, while the artificial crown replaces the missing tooth itself. Dr. Rink prefers to restore implants with high-quality, natural-looking materials like porcelain.
While there are a number of options available to replace a missing tooth, dental implants are the method of choice because of the unparalleled benefits they offer.
Another option for replacing a missing tooth is with a traditional dental crown or dental bridge. A traditional crown is typically used to cap a tooth with decay or that has been damaged. A dental bridge consists of an artificial tooth supported by dental crowns on either side. These crowns are anchored to the teeth situated on either side of the gap. While this option can restore both function and appearance, it has drawbacks. First, it compromises the structural integrity of the two adjacent teeth. Second, because it does not replace the missing root, bone loss in the jaw will occur.
An implant-supported crown has none of these drawbacks. Because the crown is anchored to a single implant, the adjacent teeth are not affected. This eliminates damage to those teeth and reduces the risk of decay and gum disease. Because the dental implant replaces the missing root, it provides stimulation for the jawbone and prevents bone loss.
Patients missing a single tooth or those who need to have a tooth extracted are typically good candidates for an implant-supported crown. In order to qualify for the procedure, patients must have sufficient jawbone tissue to fully support the implant. If bone tissue is lacking, a bone graft or another preparatory procedure may be necessary to rebuild what has already been lost. In general, patients must also practice good oral hygiene, be free from decay and gum disease, and enjoy good overall health.
Implant-supported restorations are a multi-step process. First, you will meet with Dr. Rink for an initial consultation. He will carefully evaluate your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. If you are, he will refer you to an oral surgeon who will surgically place the implant.
Once the implant is in place, it can take four to six months to heal completely, but this healing period is critical to the success of the implant, as it will fully fuse with your jawbone during this time. Once you have healed, Dr. Rink can take impressions of your teeth and gums and craft your custom-made crown. He will secure the crown to the implant abutment, giving you a full and beautiful smile.
If you lost a tooth or are in need of an extraction, you may be a good candidate for an implant-supported crown. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Rink, contact us online today or call our office at (843) 766-1132.