REPLACING A CONGENITALLY MISSING TOOTH OR LOST TEETH WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS
The single missing tooth in a dental arch allows for several restorative options. Conventional techniques include a removable partial denture, a cemented fixed bridge and a resin-bonded fixed bridge. Each of these options can be successfully used. However, none of these alternatives can actually replace the original tooth and the way it emerges from the gingival tissue with the ability to maintain bone height. A prosthetic tooth, supported by an endosteal implant, may be the closest match to the natural tooth.
For a single missing tooth, the conventional removable partial denture would be an option of last resort. It is bulky, unaesthetic and can be difficult to wear. The three-unit fixed cemented bridge is certainly a time-tested prosthodontic treatment option. However, it requires that adjacent often intact teeth be prepared as terminal abutments. The acid-etched resin bonded bridge was first introduced as a conservative approach to tooth replacement. Most resin-bonded bridges involve nonrestored teeth with minimal tooth preparations to serve as retention. This bridge often results in over-contoured, bulky attachments on the lingual of the retention teeth, resulting in plaque traps. In one 10-year retrospective study, an overall debonding rate of 31% was recorded.
The implant-supported fixed prosthesis is an excellent alternative to replace a missing tooth if there is adequate width and height of remaining alveolar bone. Therefore, treatment planning for an endosteal root form implant requires accurate planning but can result in a very realistic natural appearance that aides in maintaining bone height. The ability to restore the fully edentulous mandible and maxilla through the use of endosteal implants has expanded to include the partially edentate population. Conventional dental treatment options such as the removable partial denture, the three-unit fixed bridge and the resin-bonded retainer may need to be thought of as secondary treatment options now that endosteal root form implants have been proven effective. The prosthetic tooth, supported by an endosteal implant, emerges from the tissue attached to a “root” (the implant) in a manner which more closely resembles the natural tooth it replaces than any other treatment option available. In a clinical situation where there is adequate bone and adjacent virgin teeth, the single tooth implant restoration can certainly be considered as the primary treatment alternative.
We welcome you to contact Reconstructive and Implant Dental Center at 913-492-2233 today to learn more about dental implants in Overland Park, Kansas, and book a visit with our prosthodontist, Dr. EDward M. Amet.
Follow the links below to learn more about specific types of treatment utilizing dental implants: