Single Implants

Single Implants

These are most commonly used to replace a single missing tooth, either just one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth but missing singly in different sites around the mouth.

For multiple adjacent missing teeth click here.(then link to multiple missing teeth page.

When multiple missing teeth are side by side you can use one implant for each missing tooth or we might choose to use less implants and utilise bridging techniques. Every case is different and Dr Johnston will discuss what he feels is most appropriate in your situation.


The alternative to a single implant is a conventional fixed bridge

Replacing a single tooth can be achieved with a conventional bridge or an implant retained crown. The conventional fixed bridge  requires that your dentist drills down two or more adjacent teeth to create space for the crowns of the bridging teeth. Placing a bridge on natural teeth increases the functional forces that are placed upon them and makes the use of floss between the teeth more difficult.

Conventional bridges may need to be replaced if the supporting teeth develop decay or periodontal disease. In a certain percentage of instances while preparing the adjacent teeth for crowns (i.e. drilling down a tooth), the preparatory procedure will cause the nerve of the tooth to die and require root canal treatment to eliminate infection of the nerve. This can lead to a shortening of the lifespan of the supporting tooth, eventually leading to further extractions.


The advantage of an Implant Crown

, avoiding the need to cut down the adjacent teeth and it also replaces the bone support that has been lost with the missing tooth. This allows normal flossing, as if the replacement implant was still a natural tooth.

When the implant is assessed as being stable and ready for restoration an abutment can be attached to the implant that will connect the final crown to the implant. An impression is made, a crown is fabricated and then fixed in place using cement or screws An implant crown is not susceptible to cavities (being made of titanium) but, like any natural tooth, may develop complications if oral hygiene is not maintained. The implant restoration should be routinely evaluated at timely intervals that are determined by the conditions of the remaining natural teeth and the implant.


Implant bridges

Implant Bridges are almost exactly the same as single implants except that they replace multiple missing teeth, the false teeth being supported by the implant in the gum rather than the natural teeth. So, like single implants, they do not require adjacent teeth to be cut down. There are probably even more advantages to implant bridges than single tooth implants when compared to their conventional fixed bridge alternatives. The longer the span of missing teeth supported by the natural tooth the more likely it is for the supporting tooth to succumb to decay then abscess, or loosening of the tooth as the bone support is overloaded. The implant supported bridge removes all of these problems by limiting the length of the span.

The process involves placing implants in the most successful positions then, after healing, abutments are attached to the implants that will connect the final bridge (prosthesis) to the implants.

Like single implants, an implant bridge is not susceptible to cavities but like natural teeth may develop complications if oral hygiene is not maintained. This implant restoration should be routinely evaluated – the time interval dependent upon the conditions of the remaining natural teeth and the implant bridge.


For patients who grind their teeth (Bruxism)

Restorations using porcelain may be susceptible to a low incidence of porcelain fracture. Patients with large functional forces, including bruxism, are more susceptible to these problems. Dr Johnston will be able to indicate to you if he thinks this might be a problem and advise what can be done to reduce the risks.


> Single Tooth Implant Case Studies