With today’s technological advances in dentistry, dental implants are coming to the forefront as viable options for those who either don’t like the idea of a bridge or perhaps a bridge is not a suitable or permanent enough fix for someone who has lost a tooth or two (or more).
One of our patients, who we will call Chris, is an athletic woman about 60 years old. She took a fall while horseback riding. She felt something “crack” in her teeth after landing and catching herself, so she came to our office for help.
Chris already had a missing tooth in the top front of her mouth from a prior horse riding accident from 20 years before which was remedied with a bridge. Unfortunately, the crack she heard was a supporting tooth which had fractured beneath the gum line. This meant that her options were to replace the bridge with one spanning four teeth instead of three, get fitted for a removable denture, or get two dental implants to replace the now two missing teeth.
Chris opted for dental implants. Natural thinning and receding of the bone was remedied with a ridge augmentation procedure (a type of bone and gum graft) to make sure the dental implants had enough of a foundation to be secure for a permanent fix and give the ridge a more esthetic – full appearance. While the healing process took about 6 months, Chris had a temporary bridge so she never left the office with missing teeth.
While we were at it, we were also able to help Chris realize her aesthetic goals for a whiter and fuller smile by utilizing a combination of veneers and whitening. We were able to brighten her bottom teeth with whitening and use veneers on the top to bring out the youthful, radiant smile she wanted.
In the course of the treatment, Chris received two dental implants (upper central), two full crowns, 6 veneers on the upper teeth and whitening of the lower teeth. This was 7 years ago and Chris is still very happy with the results.