Replacing the single tooth with a dental implant is often an excellent choice as opposed to doing a fixed bridge or wearing a flipper. There are quite a few advantages for patients to consider of a using single tooth dental implant as opposed to a fixed bridge:
- Prevents having to grind down adjacent teeth
- Much easier to keep clean
- Preserves bone where the missing tooth was
- Usually stronger than a bridge
With proper surgical planning and cosmetic planning, replacing a single tooth with an implant can yield excellent results. This is essential when placing implants in the esthetic zone or rather the front teeth. One needs to consider the smile line and preserving the gum tissue so that "black spaces" are not seen with the final results.
Immediate placement of a dental implant after a tooth extraction allows us to preserve the gum tissue contours and tissue height, which is critical for the cosmetic results. It is also very important to use the correct implant type and place the implant at the correct bone level.
Another advantage of this technique is the placement of an immediate temporary crown so the patient would not have to wear a "flipper" while the implant is healing. This is also another "art" of preserving the tissue architecture to make the final implant crown look natural.
After 90 days, the patient is ready for the long term porcelain crown. It is essential that a custom abutment, the piece that goes into the implant (see figure 3) be utilized. Stock abutments are all the same shape and size and do not help preserve the gum tissue properly. You may also note that this custom abutment is white and not metal. This allows for the use of an all-ceramic crown which benefits the patients in terms of aesthetics and making the new implant crown blend in with their natural teeth. Our office custom shades these ceramic crowns to further make the crown undetectable to the eye.
With proper planning of all aspects of the treatment, the use of a dental implant to replace a single tooth offers many advantages in terms of strength, cosmetics, longevity, and ease of cleaning these teeth. If you have any questions regarding Dr. Konig's implant dentistry services, please feel free to contact our office in the Houston area by calling (713) 668-2289 today.