If you have missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, remaining teeth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth.
An implant is a new tooth made of titanium and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. Your implant is composed of two parts that mimic a tooth’s root and crown. The implant’s “root” is a titanium steel screw placed into the jaw bone to act as a tooth root. Once the screw is in place, a porcelain crown is attached to replace the top part of your tooth, the crown.
Implants may also be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. Plus, for patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so that you have a more natural-looking smile.
This patient chose to have two implants placed that will support a 3-tooth/unit bridge restoration.
After extractions, before placing implants
The patient was referred to a local Oral Surgeon to have the 2 implants placed.
This image below was taken a few months after the initial implant placement and is shown with healing caps on top of the implants. In this case, the patient was comfortable not wearing a temporary tooth replacement appliance. If the missing teeth were in the front “Smile Zone” or if the patient had a strong desire, an appliance called an “Interim Partial Denture” or “Essix Retainer” can be worn to give the look of having teeth during the healing period.
Photographs of the Implants just before placing the bridge. Healing caps have been removed.
The Photos above are prior to placing the final Porcelain bridge onto the implants.
Below are the “After” photos with the Implant supported porcelain bridge cemented into place. The patient was very satisfied with the fit, comfort and appearance.
Images of the final 3-unit porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge cemented into place.
Are You a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
The best candidates are in good physical and oral health. There must be adequate bone width and height to order to place the implants. If the bone is insufficient, bone grafting can usually be performed to achieve an appropriate amount. The best candidates have healthy gums that are free of periodontal disease and are non-smokers. Smoking can interfere with healing of the implant site.