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Step-by-step: Dental Implants to replace a missing tooth explained

MISSING FRONT TOOTH

This patient had to have her central incisor removed due to a chronic infection which had affected the tooth. The tooth had a history of having had treatment for a post crown and after many years, this tooth gradually became irreversible infected. As can be seen by the image above, a denture was used to replace the tooth in the interim period. Dentures do not provide a natural or fully functional tooth replacement and therefore, I was asked to replace this patient’s missing central incisor with a fixed solution. A dental implant was the ideal option we decided to use. I will talk you through the stages of the treatment following the initial dental implant surgery.

DENTAL IMPLANT PLACEMENT

A minor surgical procedure is carried out to carefully place the dental implant in the precise location required to fit the future tooth in the correct place. This procedure is normally carried out under local anaesthetic, it is painless.

Following the procedure, the patient experienced mild swelling around the upper lip which had subsided after 3 days.

GUM HEALING FOLLOWING SURGERY

Following the placement of the dental implant, the gum will have healed fully after around 10-12 weeks. At this stage you can see that the gum has a healthy pink appearance and the implant is positioned 3mm below the surface level of the gum.

A digital scan of the dental implant and the mouth are taken at this stage and sent to our laboratory technician, Stephen Green. Stephen is a highly skilled technician who has vast experience in creating natural looking teeth. This will provide him with all of the information required to accurately design and manufacture this patient’s tooth. The restorations are made using the latest digital technology and CAD/CAM milling to provide a tailor-made natural tooth replacement.

Digital scan

THE FINAL RESTORATION – A COMPLETE TOOTH

Finally, an E-max crown is inserted into the implant to give the appearance of a natural tooth. Each tooth is tailor made to ensure the shape, colour and symmetry matches the existing teeth in the patient’s mouth. The restoration is supported by the strong a fully integrated dental implant that was placed approximately 12 weeks prior to this stage. This titanium implant provides the most natural substitute to a natural tooth root.

We take particular care in preserving the patient’s natural gum contours. As can be seen in this image, the patient’s natural ‘pink’ gum line has provided a life-like seal around the replacement tooth. This is the same characteristics that are found around natural healthy teeth. If this gum line is not recreated then unsightly black triangles would be visible. The black triangles may also encourage food and plaque accumulation therefore, increasing the risk of future dental problems.

The final result is completely natural and it is difficult to tell which tooth is actually the ‘implant tooth‘. This patient was very pleased to have her tooth back.

Thank you for reading,

Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)

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Ceramic crown with precision milling, Infinity Dental Clinic Leeds

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