Dental Implant Surgery Part 4: The Esthetic Zone
So we have talked about many different scenarios for dental implants, but one of the most challenging areas for a dental implant is what we in the profession call“The Esthetic Zone”. While not to be confused with the Twilight Zone, the “Esthetic Zone” has in the past been equally confounding.
This area is so crucial because when a patient smiles, any irregularities in the appearance of the implant restored tooth, will have a strong impact. While an implant can be considered to be “successful”, if it functions well, if a patient is unable to smile with confidence due to the unsightly final crown on the implant, to the patient, the outcome is anything but a success.
What can go wrong esthetically? Well, if the implant is not accurately placed, the final “tooth” can look too long, or the gum tissue can shrink back and expose the implant itself. This leads to a very poor cosmetic dental outcome. But today with careful planning, along with the use of new techniques and technology, complications such as these can now be easily be avoided.
Today, with the use of the new techniques, if a front tooth is broken and is failing and cannot be saved, often the surgeon can remove this doomed tooth and replace it with an implant and temporary crown all in a single appointment. This has a major impact for the patient who would otherwise, with older techniques be forced to wait several months to even a year to get a new front tooth. This technique is called “immediate placement and restoration”. The results are amazing and they have been shown to be lasting.
But what if the front tooth has been missing for a while. What can be done in these circumstances? Well as discussed previously, as soon as the tooth has been removed, the supporting bone starts to melt and disappear. This bone loss eventually stabilizes, but often after the loss of so much bone that there is insufficient bone to house the implant. Well, in these cases, the bone must be rebuilt and with new techniques, the bone rebuilding can often produce results so good, that when the implant treatment is completed, the smile looks natural and esthetic.
So, with this information, I bring to a close my simple 4-part blog on dental implant surgery. Stay tuned for more great information on all the services that we offer at our practice.