Are you missing a back tooth? Then you should consider getting a dental implant. A dental implant acts as the root of the tooth and can allow for a crown to be placed over the implant. No need to grind down healthy teeth on either side of your missing tooth for a bridge.
X ray of my patient showing the missing upper molar tooth. One option would have been to grind away healthy tooth to create room for a bridge. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth would have to be drilled on for a 'crown' and that would hold in the bridge.
With a dental implant we can save healthy tooth structure by not having to shape the adjacent natural teeth. In some cases it can cost less to do a dental implant and crown instead of a bridge.
Final pan x-ray of a OCO two piece 6mm x 6mm dental implant placed to act as the root of a missing upper molar tooth.
Clinical picture of the same OCO two piece dental implant with a healing cap. This is the day of placement. Notice the lack of blood or stitches or the gum having to be cut and pushed back. This traditional size dental implant is placed in the same fashion as a mini dental implant. Very little surgery, very little discomfort and post operative pain for the patients. Because the bone in this case was very soft I decided to use a regular sized traditional two piece dental implant.
If the bone had been dense I could have placed multiple mini dental implants to support the molar crown as shown in this case. Both solutions work and work well. It is really a choice for the patient and dentist on what can be done and at what cost (economic, time, and potential discomfort).
This implant will heal for several months (12-16 weeks) before we can 'load' it with a crown. In the case shown above with the mini dental implants because there was good dense bone I was able to place the crown over the implants in 3 weeks. The mini implant crown has been in function now for over a year.
I will continue the post to show the abutment (the part of the implant that comes up out of the gum for the crown to attach to) and final porcelain crown.
Paresh B Patel Dental Implants Charlotte NC