A single dental implant and crown replaces a natural tooth and avoids a traditional bridge, which can cause the adjacent teeth to weaken over time. In addition, because the implant replaces the tooth root, bone loss is minimized, keeping the bone healthy and intact.
Sometimes, when an unhealthy tooth is removed, the implant can be placed at the same time. Other times, there is a healing time of several months before the implant can be placed. Once the implant is placed, the implant and bone fuse together over a period of two to six months. In some cases, a temporary tooth is provided until healing is complete.
Finally, the replacement tooth, called a crown, is created to match the color and style of the adjacent teeth. This crown is attached to a small metal post and the implant. These restorations are so natural-looking and feeling that patients often forget they ever lost a tooth.