Front teeth can become severely decayed or infected, are more susceptible to accidents or trauma, and sometimes cannot be saved. A dental implant is frequently the best option if you are missing a front tooth or have a failing front tooth that must be removed. Visit our implant dentists in Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, and Middlesex County to learn more about front tooth replacement options and how dental implants can help you improve your oral health.
Why Have a Front Tooth Implant?
Front teeth are important for both appearance and function. They help us smile, speak, and eat properly. Front teeth are also some of the most commonly lost teeth in adults, and while front tooth implants are a significant investment, they offer many benefits that make them worth the cost.
Here are some of the benefits of front tooth implants:
They look natural. Front tooth implants are carefully designed to emerge from the gums, looking exactly like a real tooth.
They function well. Front tooth implants are just as strong and stable as natural teeth, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
They are durable. Front tooth implants can last for many years, even decades, with proper care.
Here are some of the things that make front tooth implants the best option for replacing missing front teeth:
They are the only restoration that can provide a natural-looking and functioning replacement for a missing front tooth.
They are durable and can last for many years, even decades, with proper care.
They are not dependent on the surrounding teeth for support, which preserves the health and stability of the other teeth.
They can improve your appearance and self-confidence.
If you are missing a front tooth, front tooth implants may be the best option for you. Talk to your dentist at Riverside Oral Surgery to learn more about front tooth implants and to see if they are right for you.
What is a Front Tooth Implant Made From?
Front tooth implants are typically made from zirconia or e-max, two types of ceramic materials. These materials are metal-free and have a natural appearance, which is important for front teeth. Ceramic implants are also strong, hard-wearing, and highly biocompatible.
Here are some of the benefits of zirconia and e-max implants:
They look natural: Because ceramic implants do not contain metal, light is transmitted through them in a similar way to natural teeth. This creates a natural and highly aesthetic appearance.
They are durable: Ceramic implants are strong and hard-wearing, so they can last for many years with proper care.
They are biocompatible: Ceramic implants are made from materials that are compatible with the human body. This means that there is a low risk of allergic reaction or other complications.
They are resistant to plaque: Ceramic implants have good resistance to dental plaque, which helps to prevent gum disease.
While e-max and zirconia implants are more expensive than traditional metal implants, they offer many benefits that make them worth the investment.
What are the Alternatives to a Front Tooth Implant?
There are two alternatives: a tooth-supported dental bridge or a partial denture.
Tooth-Supported Dental Bridge
A tooth-supported bridge has crowns fitted over the teeth adjacent to the gap, ideally one crown on each side. These crowns are attached to the replacement tooth, called a pontic, and the entire restoration is cemented onto the adjacent teeth, called abutment teeth. The pontic is contoured and colored to look like a real tooth, resting directly on the gum tissue underneath. A dental bridge can look and feel quite natural but has some disadvantages.
Your dentist must substantially reshape the abutment teeth, removing natural and potentially healthy tooth structure to create enough room for the dental crowns. Without this preparation, the crowns would be too big and look unnatural and bulky. Once tooth structure is removed, it can only be replaced artificially, and the risk of these teeth becoming infected and decayed increases, especially as the bridge ages and potentially leaks. When the time comes to replace the bridge, costs can be higher than replacing a single implant crown so this option can be less cost-effective in the long term.
A partial or one-tooth denture is also called a flipper, consisting of an acrylic base plate that supports a single denture tooth. A flipper is an economical and quick solution for tooth loss but can be uncomfortable and tricky to wear. A flipper denture has little support as it rests directly on the gums and is only for cosmetic purposes as it would lack the strength for biting into food and is not a good long-term option. However, a flipper can be useful as a temporary restoration; for example, you may be provided with a flipper after dental implant surgery and while your implant heals.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Implant Front Tooth?
Aesthetically Pleasing. A front tooth implant provides the best aesthetic results, so you can smile and talk confidently.
Excellent Biting Strength. Dental implants provide a biting strength similar to natural teeth so that you can eat anything. However, if a food or action could damage a natural tooth, it will almost certainly damage an implant tooth and is best avoided. For example, you should never use natural or implant teeth as tools to open packets or bottles.
Self-Supporting. Implant teeth are self-supporting, so there is no need to rely on adjacent teeth to support a dental restoration.
Protecting Your Remaining Teeth. When you choose a front tooth implant, you help to protect and preserve your remaining teeth, fully intact and without needing to remove potentially healthy tooth structure. Filling in the gap with an implant prevents your natural teeth from shifting out of place, which can destabilize these teeth, weaken them, and cause bite problems that can be tricky to correct.
Protecting Jawbone Health. All dental implants help to protect the jawbone surrounding them, preventing bone resorption that naturally occurs after tooth loss.
Higher Costs Upfront. A dental implant tooth will cost slightly more than other tooth loss solutions. However, it can be more cost-effective in the longer term as only a single tooth restoration is required, so when the time comes to replace the implant crown, the costs will be lower compared to a three-tooth bridge.
Longer to Complete. Dental implant treatment will take longer to complete compared to other options. It can take several months to finish treatment, and several visits to our dental office are needed.
Oral Surgery is Needed. Not everyone wishes to have or is suitable for oral surgery. Some people might be deterred from having implant treatment because of the surgery needed. However, the procedure is short, and we can always arrange for additional sedation for increased comfort and relaxation during the treatment.
When a Dental Bridge Might be Preferable
Sometimes, a dental bridge might be the better option. This could be the case if the teeth supporting the bridge are decayed or unsightly and will benefit from crowns that protect them from further infection and decay.
What is the Process for a Front Tooth Implant?
The process for a front tooth implant is the same as for any dental implant, but there are a few special considerations due to the high visibility of the missing or failing tooth.
Initial consultation and diagnostic tests
You will have an initial consultation to evaluate your suitability for implant treatment.
You will also need diagnostic tests, including a cone beam CT scan.
Immediate implant placement
If a tooth is failing, immediate implant placement may be possible, where your failing tooth is removed and a dental implant inserted during one appointment.
During the healing process, you will need a temporary replacement for the missing tooth, such as:
Uncovering the implant and fitting the new crown
Once the implant has healed, it will be uncovered and a dental impression will be taken.
Your new implant crown will then be fabricated and fitted onto the implant post.
Temporary implant tooth
If a temporary implant tooth is placed, it is purely for cosmetic purposes and should not be used for biting.
It will be fabricated so that it does not contact your lower teeth when you bite down.
New implant crown
Your new implant crown will be made and fitted once healing is complete.
It will be screwed or cemented onto the dental implant abutment.
How to Care for a Front Tooth Implant?
Single dental implant teeth are extremely easy to care for, and you won’t need special tools. You can simply brush them normally and floss around them exactly as for a natural tooth. You can also use interdental brushes or a waterpik to clean between your teeth. If you are unsure, our dental team can always demonstrate the proper cleaning techniques and are always available to answer your questions.
You must visit your dentist regularly for checkups and hygiene appointments so your dental implant can be cleaned professionally. Failing to look after a dental implant correctly greatly increases the risk of the tissue surrounding the implant becoming infected with a condition similar to gum disease, potentially leading to implant failure.
An Aesthetically Pleasing Solution to Restore a Front Tooth
If you have a missing front tooth or a failing front tooth, it’s well worth considering an implant to replace it. Dental implants offer clear advantages, including protecting your jawbone health, and can last for many years, so they are an excellent long-term investment in dental health. Most importantly, replacing a front tooth with an implant can create a highly aesthetic appearance, so it is difficult for anyone to detect that you have ever lost a tooth.
Are you ready to book your Front Tooth Implant appointment?
Request an appointment online or call an office near you! Our friendly and caring staff can assist you with any questions.
If you have questions about front dental implants, to learn more, or to schedule a consultation with the implant specialist at Riverside Oral Surgery, call our center at (551) 287-2322 or visit any of our New Jersey locations.