A longtime patient visited me one day experiencing pain in one of her upper front teeth.
After examination, I determined that the root was fractured and we would, unfortunately, have to remove the tooth. Before the tooth was extracted we discussed options for tooth replacement including an implant, a bridge or a removable partial denture. The patient elected to proceed with an implant. In this case, we felt that an implant was the best way to move forward to create a long-lasting, esthetic and functional replacement for the patient.
While a dental implant procedure is pretty straightforward, there were some other factors I had to take into account. The patient has a set of existing crowns on her front six teeth done many years ago that were still in excellent condition. As a result, we wanted to do everything we could to avoid replacing any of them. That meant matching her new implant crown to an existing set that had already been in service for years. This takes some planning and a great lab technician with an artistic eye.
The second challenge was how the gums would heal following extraction of the tooth and placement of the implant. This is a common problem associated with any surgical procedure, particularly when working with the front or anterior teeth. Although we did lose a small of amount of gum tissue, because of the great work of the oral surgeon, it was minimal and only visible with the lips fully retracted.
The patient (and the dentist) was thrilled! We were able to replace a single anterior tooth with a dental implant, giving the patient great, long-lasting function and esthetics, while not needing to change a thing with her adjacent dental work. The final outcome – and smile – speak for themselves.