Front tooth implant

If you have a missing tooth due to decay or injury, you may need a dental bridge or implant. Unless you have gum and jaw bone condition, we recommend dental implants because implants give you natural-looking teeth and function and help prevent your jawbone deterioration.

When a tooth is extracted or falls out, the jawbone shrinks over time and changes teeth alignment. Since an implant gives you the exact function of the tooth root, the new tooth allows you to chew naturally and stimulates the bone, preventing it from shrinking.

Because of caries, Laura lost an old crown and the left upper central tooth post. She called us right away and came to our office. She cannot smile, talk, or eat in front of her friends anymore. Laura received immediate temporization, and we took the CT scan on the initial visit.

As shown, there is insufficient tooth structure to support a new crown. So, extraction of the broken root and an implant-supported crown was the treatment plan for this patient. This crown is in the aesthetic area, and she has a high smile line, meaning when she smiles big (like Julia Roberts), she shows her gums and the whole crown. Julia Roberts' smile will make things very challenging.

Careful preparation necessary for a missing front tooth

It is necessary to take particular caution to proceed with front upper tooth replacement. It might be easy to have an implant and a crown. Still, it is tough to keep a natural-looking healthy gum and match the crown's color on the implant in the center of your face without crowning.

Example of extracting the root without opening the gum
or breaking the bone and placing implant.

Single implant procedure

To make her teeth look natural, we proceed with a minimum invasive approach. In this treatment, minimum invasive means we will keep what the patient already has and make no change to the existing condition. For example, many dentists open a flap (gum) for easy access to the root and better visibility when extracting broken teeth or the roots.

However, once you open the gum, it loses blood supply for a couple of days, and the gum recedes upward and inward. Once this happens, it is almost impossible to recreate the original shape. When we extract the root, we use the slow minimum invasive extraction technique and try not to break the bone around the root.

Extraction takes a little longer, but by not breaking the bones, you can keep the bones under the gums intact, supporting and keeping the gums' shape. And because we don't break the bone, there is less post-operative discomfort.

You can extract the tooth quicker and easier by ignoring the minimum invasive technique. Then, you can recreate what you lost by gum surgeries. As you can imagine, the original shape is more natural than the one a dentist can reproduce later, and the results last longer.

Color to match your teeth

Color matching one central crown to other natural teeth is the most difficult. Some dentists ask patients to do two teeth together for a better color matching, even if the other tooth has no caries.

We use a color-corrected camera and a special filter for the shade (color) in the office. Even so, it is not easy. Nevertheless, suppose the color does not match. In that case, we will send the crown to the dental lab and modify it until it matches the neighboring teeth' color.

There is no extra cost. Still, the patients must wait a little longer with the temporary crown. After adjustment periods, Laura got her front tooth back just like she had the wanted-natural color matching the original tooth.

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Dr. Shimizu is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There are 419 dental professionals worldwide (Only four in Houston) as of 2022 who have achieved this prestigious honor.