DENTAL IMPLANT CASE STUDY

When wearing a denture is not an option

Dr Chris Wood

Aesthetics, comfort and chewing function are important considerations when choosing the ideal treatment to replace a missing tooth. For some patients, leaving a gap may be acceptable, particularly if it is not visible when they smile.  For others, a denture may be the answer.  For many people, however, wearing any type of removable false tooth fills them with trepidation.

Andy is a freelance graphic designer who enjoys yoga, running and holidays in the Mediterranean.  When he was younger, he experienced trauma to his upper front teeth.  During a routine examination by his dentist, a tiny hole was discovered in the upper right central incisor.  Andy’s dentist explained that the hole would only get larger over time.

                                             

                                                  Andy’s upper right central tooth was failing

Eventually, the moment came to consider replacing his failing tooth.  Andy was very apprehensive about having a denture or a bridge.  He remembers how living with false teeth was so awkward for his mother. 

“Wearing a denture was never really an option for me.  I knew I would probably find it very irritating,” confides Andy.  He already knew a little about dental implants and the benefits they could bring to people with missing teeth, by replacing the tooth root and supporting a secure, comfortable, natural-looking crown. 

Consulting a dentist about implants

Dr Chris Wood is the founder and principal dentist at Audley Dental Solutions near Bicester.  The clinic’s mission is to restore patients’ smiles, providing high-quality implant treatment delivered by an experienced team of clinicians and support staff.

Chris takes up the story. “Despite Andy being symptom free, we discovered a horizontal root fracture in the upper left central and progressive internal resorption in the upper right central tooth.”  Internal resorption is an inflammatory process that destroys the tooth material from the inside.

Chris agreed to continue monitoring the upper left central tooth with regular scans.  In the meantime, he began taking Andy though all the options for treating the upper right incisor, including extracting the tooth and providing an implant.

‘Should I leave a gap or have a dental implant?’

Andy recalls thinking ‘had my failing tooth been at the back of my mouth, I would have been tempted to leave a gap’.  However, with the tooth being so prominent, implant treatment seemed like the best option.

At the initial assessment, Chris took radiographs to assess the bone volume in Andy's jaw.  This would determine if implant treatment was viable.  Chris explains, “After a thorough examination, we concluded Andy was a suitable candidate for our teeth-in-a-day procedure which, in our view, would provide the best aesthetic outcome.  His gums and bone were very healthy, despite the hole in his tooth.”

At the second appointment, Andy's tooth was extracted and a dental implant was inserted into his jawbone.  A tiny abutment was placed over the implant, followed by a crown which would give Andy a ‘temporary tooth’ during the healing period when the bone and gum tissue would grow around the implant to achieve a snug fit.

                                            

                           The tooth was extracted and a dental implant placed on the same day

Surprisingly simple dental implant procedure

Apart from being told to avoid putting too much pressure on the implant during the first few days after the procedure, Andy was surprised how little it affected him.  “I’m not sure why, but I was expecting the surgery to be a bit uncomfortable.  However, the whole process was surprisingly simple and I didn’t experience any pain whatsoever.”

After four months, Andy returned to Audley Dental Solutions for removal of the temporary tooth and fitting of the permanent crown.  A digital scan was taken of Andy’s mouth.  The scan data was sent to a dental technician who made the permanent, zirconia crown and a new, customised abutment. 

Chris remarks, “We were really pleased with the outcome of the immediate implant procedure after extraction.  We could see a very natural-looking contour of the gums, and the implant had also integrated nicely with the jawbone.”

                                                           

                                   An X-ray scan showed good integration of the implant with bone

Benefits of dental implants

Andy quickly got used to life with his new implant-supported tooth.  However, the real test was how it looked.  In fact, no-one else has noticed a difference in his smile.  In order to achieve a really natural effect, Chris was even able to mimic some superficial imperfections that were present on Andy’s original, natural tooth.

                                         

                                The permanent crown was fitted four months after surgery

Andy reflects, “I would thoroughly recommend the treatment to anyone with a missing tooth.  It was a very comfortable, simple and straightforward procedure, from start to finish.”

If you would like to find out more about implant teeth in a day, get in touch with Chris Wood to discuss your personal and clinical needs.