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How Do Dental Implants Work and Can They Be Used For Front Teeth?

How Do Dental Implants Work

Dental implants have long been a gold standard dental restoration option for single or up to the entire arch of missing teeth as they last for a lifetime and provide an awe-inspiring natural look. They are biocompatible metal posts (usually composed of titanium) that act as substitutes for natural tooth roots and are surgically placed into the jawbone to support dental crown and bridgework- the fake replacement teeth. They can even be considered for stabilizing loose, uncomfortable dentures.

It has been estimated that every year about 5 million dental implants are placed. This shows that it is an in-demand dental service and the most outstanding solution for missing teeth replacement!

Most often, people have dental implants as a replacement for missing molars. But have you ever thought of using it for front teeth that are lost due to an accident/mouth trauma, or any other issue? In this blog, the famous and expert dental implant doctor in Chicago at The Dental Specialists (TDS) answers this question and also provides the basics of how dental implants work.

How do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are used to completely restore the lost tooth or teeth i.e. replace both crown and roots. The root portion is usually a medical-grade titanium screw that is placed into the natural existing living jawbone or grafted bone of the empty tooth socket where the natural tooth root once existed. Once this initial part of the surgery is over, the implant is allowed to osseointegrate or fuse with the jawbone. This healing period lasts for a few months. At the end of the healing period, the patient gets secured, solid functioning fixed roots for new artificial teeth. The overall planning and implant positioning is held with the assistance of state-of-the-art 3D imaging, software simulations, and guided operation.

The next part of the surgery involves the placement of an abutment- a connector piece between the roots and the crown of the tooth. In some cases, the dentist may choose to fix implants that already have an abutment attached to one end. The implant is then ready to be restored with either a single dental crown, bridgework, or denture depending upon the number of teeth required to be replaced. The shape and color of these replacement teeth are precisely matched with the remaining natural teeth to achieve teeth that resemble the real teeth in looks, function, and feel. The supporting tooth of the implant called the crown is custom-made using a combination of computer-aided design and 3D manufacturing technologies and the final natural-looking, beautiful tooth piece is hand finished by skilled dental experts in a dental laboratory.      

Can Dental Implants Work for Front Teeth?

Absolutely, dental implants are often a great option for the replacement of the missing front teeth. Front teeth are most visible when a person gives a broad smile or grin exposing the teeth or while speaking, laughing, and eating. If they go missing, it is important to opt for dental implant surgery by a well-experienced, qualified oral surgeon with records of practicing for several years and providing highly satisfactory, successful results to his/her patients.   

However, one potential issue that often arises while placing dental implants in the front is the less amount of natural jawbone present in that area. As compared to the teeth at the back of the mouth, the height of the jawbone is less. Before going ahead with dental implant surgery, the surgeon or dentist will evaluate the patient’s needs, and take detailed X-ray images of their teeth and jaws. If there is insufficiency of the jawbone, the dentist may recommend the patient to go for bone grafting to ensure successful dental implant surgery.

Making Sure You’re an Ideal Candidate For Dental Implants

When replacing a front tooth with a dental implant, the amount and quality of the jawbone are common considerations. Dental implants require a substantial quantity of healthy bone for strength and stability. However, there is normally less bone surrounding the front teeth than the back teeth.

A dentist will begin by capturing pictures of your jaws and may recommend a bone graft to bolster the area beforehand. This ensures that your implant will have the necessary support for many years of optimal function.

In addition, they will analyze your medical history, oral health, and lifestyle to ensure the success of the surgery. This includes whether you use tobacco (non-smokers have a success rate of over 95%, while smokers have a success rate of just 85%) and whether you have healthy gums, which are required for appropriate healing and the implant’s long-term prognosis.

Even with these factors in mind, dental implants are effective for the majority of patients. And when a front tooth is missing, they are an exceptional method to enjoy a healthy, whole smile for life.

Benefits of Using Dental Implants for Front Teeth

When a person loses a front tooth or teeth, they have options to fill the gaps in their smile with dental bridges or a partial denture (sometimes known as a flipper). However, they are not so beneficial. In contrast, dental implants offer a lot many advantages, including:

  • Unlike dental bridges that require the natural teeth lying on either side of the gaps in the smile to be filed down and permanently altered for placing of dental crowns, dental implants are placed without harming the health of nearby teeth at all.
  • They can provide natural-looking smiles for the rest of the patient’s life with basic care and maintenance of oral hygiene, which is a far longer lifespan than other missing teeth replacements. 
  • They preserve the health of the jawbone and prevent the structural collapse of the lower face. This way, they help to maintain a younger-looking face over time.
  • As both the crown and root are being replaced with dental implants, the patient achieves significantly better chewing strength and stability as compared to partial dentures or other options.
  • Front teeth dental implants can remarkably boost the patient’s self-esteem and make them more confident when speaking, eating, laughing, and smiling.

If you want to know your candidacy for front teeth dental implants, start by booking an initial consultation with an experienced dentist at TDS. Our dental implant surgeons will help you by creating a personalized treatment plan to restore both looks and health of your front teeth so that you can enjoy your appealing smile for years to come.