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.

Single implant procedure

front upper tooth replacement before after
Example of extracting the root without opening the gum
or breaking the bone and placing implant.

To ensure natural-looking teeth, we opt for a minimally invasive approach. This means preserving the patient's existing condition without making unnecessary changes. For instance, while many dentists open the gum flap for improved access and visibility during tooth or root extraction, this procedure disrupts the gum's blood supply, causing it to recede and altering its original shape irreversibly.

In our practice, we utilize a slow and gentle extraction technique that minimizes bone disruption, preserving the integrity of the bone beneath the gums and maintaining their natural shape. This method may take slightly longer, but it significantly reduces post-operative discomfort.

While quicker extraction methods exist, they often necessitate subsequent gum surgeries to restore lost tissue. However, the original shape achieved through a minimally invasive approach remains more natural and enduring.

Perfecting Dental Crown Color Matching

missing tooth color matching to existing teeth
Our commitment lies in achieving seamless
color matching that blends flawlessly with existing 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.

Matching the color of one central crown to the surrounding natural teeth presents a significant challenge. Some dentists recommend treating two adjacent teeth together to achieve better color harmony, even if the second tooth is not decayed.

When matching the color of a missing tooth to existing teeth, we employ advanced techniques such as root extraction without gum incision or bone breakage, followed by implant placement. Our office utilizes a color-corrected camera and specialized filters for precise shade assessment. Despite these tools, achieving an exact match takes time and effort. If the color does not align perfectly, we will send the crown to the dental lab for adjustments until it blends seamlessly with the neighboring teeth.

This process has no additional cost, but patients may experience a slight delay due to the need for a temporary crown. After the adjustment period, After the adjustment period, Laura, our patient in the first picture, regained her front tooth with a natural color that matched her original tooth, fulfilling her desired outcome.regained her front tooth with a natural color that matched her original tooth, fulfilling her desired outcome.

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Dr. Shimizu is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There are 486 dental professionals worldwide (Only four in Houston) as of 2023 who have achieved this prestigious honor.