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Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC
Single Tooth Dental Implants DC
Replacing a missing tooth is essential for your oral health, and your smile. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we specialize in rebuilding and restoring a missing tooth with a dental implant.

Teeth are lost for a variety of reasons, including oral trauma and gum disease. No matter how a tooth is lost, many people seem to think that missing just one tooth can be ignored. The reality is, even one missing tooth can have a major impact on your oral health. A single missing tooth can lead to:
•  Unbalanced Chewing: Always chewing on the side opposite the missing tooth.
•  Space for Debris to Sit: Food may get lodged in the space, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
•  Changes to Your Speech: A missing tooth can impact your speech, causing a lisp. Or certain sounds may be altered.
•  Bone Loss: Even missing one tooth, the bone in that location decreases in size, after missing a couple of teeth and you may even see visual changes in the shape of your jaw.
•  Room to Roam:The surrounding teeth can shift out of alignment, throwing off your bite.


Traditional Replacement


Traditionally, a single missing tooth has been replaced with a dental bridge. While there are multiple styles and types of bridges, the most common is a fixed bridge. This type of bridge consists of a false tooth with two dental crowns on either end to anchor it in place. The crowns are used to anchor the restoration in place by attaching to the neighboring healthy teeth or implants. To properly place the bridge, a small amount of enamel needs to be removed from each abutment tooth, and the bridge is cemented into place. A fixed bridge would be fine, but the more conservative option would be to leave the neighboring healthy teeth alone and simply rebuild the root structure of the missing tooth using a dental implant.

What are Dental Implants?


A dental implant is a revolutionary treatment method used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of three major components. The implant itself is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. As you heal, the bone fuses to the implant, turning it into a stable root. An abutment, or connector, is placed on top. Finally, there is the crown or crowns. The crown, typically made out of ceramic, is designed to replace the visible part of your missing tooth. It is secured into place on the implant using a screw.

Dental implants offer several benefits over a dental bridge. Along with restoring the basic functions of your missing tooth, dental implants are much more comfortable and more natural in appearance. They do not require the removal of any enamel from perfectly healthy teeth. The biggest benefit of dental implants is that the titanium rod helps to stop the bone loss that follows tooth loss. As a result, your jawbone remains strong and healthy. You will not have to worry about replacing your restoration later.

Replacing Your Missing Tooth


The process of replacing a missing tooth with dental implant treatment involves a surgical procedure. We begin with a local anesthetic and sedation. We then make small incisions in the gum tissue, exposing the jawbone. A hole is drilled into the bone, and the implant is placed in it. The gums are sutured closed around the implant, and a temporary tooth is placed. You are then sent home to heal.

Healing after a single tooth implant can take several weeks. During this time, we closely monitor your progress, making sure that the bone is fusing properly. Once you have healed, we begin the process of creating your permanent tooth. We take impressions of your mouth, which are sent to a lab. The impressions are used to fabricate the tooth. When it is ready, you return for a final visit during which we secure the ceramic tooth into place.

Depending on your needs, multiple teeth replacements can be used to replace multiple teeth either individually or working in conjunction with other prosthetic devices.

A single missing tooth might not seem like a big deal, but replacing that tooth is essential. Call Neil Starr, DDS, PC today at (202) 897-0015 to schedule your consultation and find out if dental implants are right for you.


Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Washington Office

1234 19th Street N.W. #306
Washington, DC 20036

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