This is a topic I have written about before however, in some patients it can be the most important feature of the implant treatment process.
Achieving natural aesthetics on anterior teeth is one of the most challenging tasks with regards to providing treatment with dental implants. The technicians can provide the most beautiful ceramic work however, if the gum contour does not match the adjacent teeth then the overall aesthetic appearance is significantly compromised.
The art of gum shaping is a critical part of implant treatment in the aesthetic zone (smile area) of the mouth. There are many ways to provide this treatment and I will briefly describe one of the techniques we use at our clinic.
GUM SHAPING AROUND DENTAL IMPLANTS
The gum (soft tissues) around the implant needs to be carefully manipulated to provide a similar contour to that seen on the adjacent central incisor in this example. The gum contour around implants is the most important factor that will make the restoration look like a natural tooth. When you see a smile and you can tell that someone has a ‘crown’ – it is usally because the contour around the gumline of that crown is not natural and ‘in-keeping’ with the adjacent teeth.
Rather than simply accepting a compromised result, we provide our patients with a process that helps us develop the natural gum contours. This is particularly important when providing an implant supported bridge. As you can see in the images below, 1 dental implant can be made to look like 2 individual teeth rather than one tooth stuck to another. I have seen many bridges which look like they are simply crowns all stuck together. These are both unaesthetic and create a hygiene problem in the future as it is impossible to clean underneath these bridges.
Our treatment process eliminates the risk of this by creating contours in the gum to enable us to incorporate long erm hygine in the design of the bridged tooth as well as ensure the gum line fits perfectly to both the dental implant crown and the additional bridged tooth.
The following examples demonstrate what a difference adding this stage to aesthetic implant treatment can make:
Implant dentistry in the aesthetic zone must take soft tissue management into consideration. The aesthetic appearance of the final tooth is critical when determining the success of the treatment. For predictable and consistent outcomes, we believe it is imperative that implant surgeons provide gum contouring as part of their aesthetic implant treatment.
I hope this blog gives an easy to understand insight into this procedure. Please feel free to contact me for any queries or for information on further training in this field.
Thank you for reading
Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)
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