Tooth Replacement Smile Makeover: Are You Ready to Enhance Your Smile?
Highlighting the success of our patients’ treatments is something we love to do and we’ve had a lot of interest in Tooth Replacements being used in Smile Makeovers. So, we thought we’d combine two of our favorite topics and focus this blog article on three of our patients, Andrea and Erin, and share their Tooth Replacement Smile Makeover Spotlight Stories with you.
CASE STUDY | Missing Tooth, Caused by Trauma of Car Accident; Waited to Repair, Causing Additional Damage
Patient: Andrea, 25 Years
Problem: Stopped Smiling & Lost Her Joy
Solution: All-Porcelain Bridge | Tooth Replacement
We’d like to introduce you to Andrea…
Andrea is 25. Her smile restoration story began one year earlier, when she had her front tooth knocked out in a car accident. Andrea became very self conscious and hated the way her missing tooth made her smile look, but she could not afford to fix it. This caused her to become distraught and depressed. As she sank to a lower state emotionally, it didn’t take long for Andrea to make the decision to stop smiling completely.
One year after Andrea lost her tooth in a car accident and months after she had decided to stop smiling, she finally made the decision that she was ready to replace her tooth. However, the area had healed in an irregular way, making it difficult to treat, and she wanted to fix her missing tooth without implants. What was the best solution? An all-porcelain bridge was created, minor gum tissue contouring to fill in her gap, restore her missing tooth and beautify her smile.
After making the decision that Andrea was ready to enhance not only her smile, but restore her overall joy and quality of life, we created an all-porcelain bridge to restore her missing tooth. Because the area had already healed irregularly, we also did minor tissue contouring to fill in her gap.
Let’s explain a couple of these procedures that we used to complete Andrea’s tooth replacement smile makeover:
- What is a Bridge? A dental bridge is an option when there are teeth on either side of the missing tooth. A bridge is a fixed solution that stays cemented in the mouth and does not come out. This method can involve cutting down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to be able to connect them together. A bridge can replace one or two missing teeth easily, and sometimes more if there is enough support. Learn more HERE.
- What Is Gum Contouring? The procedure of gum contouring uses specialized tools or a laser to perform ablation, which removes irregularly formed gum tissue from trauma or excess gum tissue growing over the teeth. These laser-based procedures use technology that helps seal the tissue to reduce bleeding, creates a more precise shape and better targets hollowed areas or pockets where bacteria can form. For health reasons, gum contouring slows the progression of tooth decay and for patients with periodontal disease, removing the excess tissue can limit its recurrence. Learn more HERE.
Clearly, the results of Andrea’s transformation is that of an incredibly beautiful, not to mention dazzling, natural, pearly white and confident smile!
To put it mildly, Andrea loves her new smile and the BEST part is … once again, she’s SHARING HER SMILE with the world!!
We created one all-porcelain bridge for Andrea’s upper tooth and did some minor gum tissue contouring to help fill in the gaps. She LOVES to Smile now! Check out the difference in her actual smile in the photos:
- Before photo (top picture): her missing tooth had healed irregularly over time, causing her gums to look uneven.
- After photo (lower picture): shows Andrea’s transformed smile after two short weeks of healing! Her hand-crafted all-porcelain bridge was customized to not only create a restored, natural-looking smile, but it also perfectly matches her other front tooth creating a symmetrical and youthful smile. Notice how healthy her teeth, gums and smile look!
Just because life takes a natural toll it doesn’t have to steal your smile. Nor does it mean that we have to like it OR that we have to live with it! A smile transformation, like Andrea’s, is a long-term solution — not a short-term fix.
Close-up pictures of actual dentistry are important when evaluating your selection for a dentist because it allows you to look at actual teeth and treatment before and after under magnification. This allows you to assess and judge if the dental treatment being provided meets with your expectations.
Often, we use dental photography and chair-side mockups to show patients what their smile needs to show a little improvement. By showing and educating patients that fixing their teeth brings both physical and psychological benefits to them, as well as benefits to their mental health and wellbeing. One of the things we do as dentists is to help create a sense of confidence through the way they project themselves through their life … with their family, friends, career and through their daily activities. It’s an incredible transformation to witness.
CASE STUDY | Restore Missing Tooth
Patient: Erin, 22 Years
Problem: Congenitally Missing Front Tooth Since Childhood
Solution: Implant and Porcelain Crown
We’d like to introduce you to Erin…
Erin is a 22 year old female who came to us with a congenitally missing upper front tooth. Like many teenagers, Erin wore braces; however, she also had to wear a retainer with a fake tooth. When we met Erin, she was very sad, because her smile made her so unhappy. As you can imagine, a missing tooth can really impact a teen’s self confidence.
With the advent of dental implant technology, implants can replace missing teeth without the issues associated with traditional dental procedures, like partials and fixed dentures.
After careful examination, dental X-rays, dental photography, study models, and case planning we were ready to meet with Erin to discuss our treatment recommendations to restore missing tooth with a single dental implant.
After Erin was 22 years old, it was decided that in order to replace Erin’s tooth, an implant would be placed in this area. Once the abutment was placed, an all-porcelain crown was completed after obtaining a custom color shade of her adjacent teeth. These close-up photographs (above) show Erin’s before and after pictures. This single photo shows her after picture. All demonstrate beautiful color of the teeth and harmony with the surrounding gum tissue.
Needless to say, Erin loves her new smile and is very happy with her tooth replacement smile makeover!
Close-up pictures of actual dentistry are important when evaluating your selection for a dentist because it allows patients to look at actual teeth and treatment before and after under magnification. This allows them to assess and judge if the dental treatment being provided meets with their expectations.
Tooth Replacement Options for Congenitally Missing Teeth
Traditionally, dentistry treatment for a congenitally missing tooth was to wear a partial denture, which is removeable (and yucky at any age) or a fixed bridge. What are these treatments to restore missing tooth? Let’s discuss:
- Partial Denture: usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw.
- Fixed Bridge: replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place.
Neither are very good long-term options to restore missing tooth. Here’s why:
- can be lost
- look fake
- show metal
- cause unnecessary destruction of otherwise healthy teeth
- need to be replaced every 20 years
- can look unnaturally large
- have color issues, and can lead to failure of more teeth in the future
Congenitally Missing Teeth
Typically, at a certain age, a child’s baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in. But in some cases, certain teeth simply don’t grow in or appear, and are not just trapped in the gum. This is called having congenitally missing teeth (CMT), or hypodontia.
The most commonly missing tooth is the lateral incisor, effecting approximately 2% of the population. Even though this is low number, it creates big problems if you are the person that is in that percentage; especially if you are a teenager or young adult.
At a certain age, braces are often used to either realign the teeth to close the gap OR create the right amount of space in your mouth to replace the missing tooth.
Luckily, today’s dental and medical advancements provide options for you or your child to replace missing teeth.
Effects of Congenitally Missing Teeth
Congenitally missing teeth can cause people to feel self-conscious about their appearance, especially when it occurs at the front of the mouth displaying gaps between the teeth. The most commonly absent tooth is the lateral incisor, this affects approximately 2% of the population.
There are obvious cosmetic effects of CMT that you or your child may feel self-conscious about; however, beyond that, missing teeth can potentially lead to other dental problems, according to the American Dental Association. Including:
- large spaces between your teeth can affect how you speak or eat
- a missing molar can affect how you chew
- teeth may also shift due to the absence of a tooth
- bone loss can occur around a missing tooth
Not to worry — with today’s dental advancements, there are options available to replace missing teeth, including the above options: partials and fixed dentures. Of course, all of these seem to be terrible choices for a young woman in her teens and early twenties. However, there’s another treatment option: dental implants.
Dental Implants: consist of a titanium implant (fixture) that is inserted into your jawbone, and a crown is attached to the top of the implant abutment.
Remember, what’s best for you or your child all depends on your dentist’s assessment, your age or your child’s age, and the best options available.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants enhance your smile by giving you teeth the look, function, and feel like your natural teeth and last for many years to come. If you’ve been dealing with missing teeth, it’s time to restore your smile and boost your confidence and oral health. Whether you’ve dealt with tooth loss from decay, an accident, wear and tear – we love helping our patients restore missing teeth with successful, long-lasting dental implants.
Read this Implant Overview by The American Dental Association
The Basics of Implants
Humans have been inventing methods for replacing teeth for hundreds of years – tracing back to ancient civilizations. Today’s modern science has created a wonderful solution for missing teeth that has a huge success rate – dental implants. So, what are they exactly?
Dental implants are devices consisting of small posts often made of titanium. These posts are replacements for natural tooth roots and will connect to an abutment, which is built on top of the implant post. The abutment allows the artificial tooth to be connected to the implant post. Three parts come together to create one naturally-looking, strong tooth.
Getting a dental implant requires a surgical procedure. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to make sure you’re pain free, and then the titanium implant will be placed into the jaw bone. Before the surgical procedure takes place, you will meet with your dentist to come up with a personalized treatment plan for your tooth replacement smile makeover.
Learn More: What to Know About Dental Implants
The Benefits will Impact Your Life
Dental Implants are so popular because of their many benefits and success rate. Dental Implants restore missing teeth by:
- Boost confidence
- Benefits your oral health and overall health
- Give you back your chewing ability and normal bite
- Are cleaned just like your natural teeth, so they’re low maintenance
- Prevents bone loss in the jaw
- Are stable and permanent
- Prevent your other teeth from becoming misaligned
- Restores your quality of life
- Look like your natural teeth
Are You a Candidate?
If you’re ready for a tooth replacement smile makeover and dental implants sound like a good option for you, it’s helpful to know if you may be considered a candidate for them. You and your dentist will discuss this in more detail, but here are some of the basics:
- Healthy enough for surgery
- Good oral health
- Can invest the time for dental implants – which can take multiple appointments
- Right amount of bone mass for the implants
Restore Missing Teeth with Dental Implants
Learn more about why this popular treatment is so successful through some of our blogs:
- Restorative Dentistry: Dentures, Bridges, and Implants! OH MY!
- Replacing a Tooth with a Dental Implant Changes Everything
We’d love for you to review a few of the other Case Studies we’ve put together in our Smile Makeover Spotlight Series we’ve created with our patients:
- Jim’s Story
- Carla’s Story
- Paula’s Story
- Ann’s Story
- Shelly’s Story
- Amy’s Story
- David’s Story
- Charlene’s Story
- Becky’s Story
- Brittney’s Story
We Can Help You Love to Smile Again!
Thank you for reviewing our Tooth Replacement Smile Makeover article, we understand that restoring your smile by replacing a missing tooth will make you feel great on the inside and look great on the outside. It can even help you want to share your smile with the world again! However, restoring your smile can also help prevent future problems from surrounding teeth shifting to having problems with simple tasks like chewing food and talking. We love to help our patients SMILE AGAIN! Let’s discuss a customized solution that can restore your smile. Don’t let anything steal your smile, contact us to schedule your appointment.
Contact us today to schedule your dental appointment and meet with our skilled dentists at one of our three conveniently located dental office locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to treat your dental emergency, achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment and become part of our dental family.