Procedure of replacing an anterior tooth
The anterior teeth (the front teeth) are those that most influence our facial appearance. It is understandable that a patient would want to replace a damaged or missing tooth with a dental implant as soon as possible. However, it is up to the dentist and surgical specialists, the prosthodontist or the whole team to decide whether the patient is fit for an immediate dental implant replacement or whether they need to wait to undergo a delayed dental implant replacement.
Immediate anterior dental implant replacement
If there is no way to preserve and save an anterior tooth, because it is fractured, after failed root canal treatment, or if it is already missing, it is still possible for the patient to “save face”. Replacing an anterior tooth with a dental implant is possible even immediately after removing the damaged tooth. In order to have success with an anterior dental implant placement treatment, there is a need to consider three essential factors:
- The tooth or root which is damaged needs to be removed preserving the bone and gum tissue that surrounds it
- Immediately replacing the removed tooth with an implant and wait until the bone grows around it sufficiently enough
- Temporary crown placement so that the implant doesn’t move and to prevent damage which could be done while biting
A special surgical technique must be performe to remove the tooth without damaging the bone and gum tissue. This way the procedure can continue ensuring a perfect aesthetic result. If the bone becomes damaged, this could cause an unwanted result and unsatisfactory final look. Considering the fact that this is the front of the patient’s mouth, appearance is significantly more important. To avoid bone damage, this procedure needs to be done by an experienced dental surgery specialist.
Once the anterior tooth is removed, the dental implant is placed immediately with the use of a precise surgery technique which preserves the bone. For the anterior dental implant to be absolutely stable, it must be mounted in the bone at the tip of the tooth socket. To preserve natural contouring, the socket is filled with bone grafting.
Positioning of the dental implant is crucial to ensure that the implanted tooth looks like a natural tooth. Such positioning needs to be done by an experienced surgical specialist.
Also called a provisional, a temporary tooth placed in the gap left by the removed tooth. It could be a crown or a flipper with an affixed tooth. It is used only for aesthetic reasons not for functionality. Its purpose is minimise bite forces from opposing teeth. This way the bone is able to grow properly around the implant.
Even a very slight bite force can cause very small movements, which could prevent the fusion between the bone and implant. After the formation of the bone around the anterior dental implant is strong enough, there will be a stable foundation for the final crown to be mounted onto it.