In previous years, the only options to replace a missing tooth was to either wear a removable, single tooth denture, or to place a bridge that attaches to the teeth either side of the missing tooth.
The disadvantage of placing a bridge is that the healthy teeth either side of the gap need to be ground down, so that the two crowns on the bridge can be placed over the remaining root foundation.
With the advent of dental implants, the single missing tooth may be replaced without doing any damage to the neighbouring teeth. Placing a single dental implant gives a permanent, naturally functioning solution.
The implant is very similar in shape and size to a natural tooth's root. Once it has been placed in the area of the missing tooth, it then integrates or bonds to the facial bone through a process called osseointegration, replacing the root of the natural tooth.
Once the implant has integrated, a mould is taken of your mouth, so that a tooth can be manufactured to fit on top of the implant. After approximately a week or two, the final tooth, which is made of ceramic, can be attached to the implant.
The result is a natural looking crown that will have great long-term success if looked after properly.