I'm thinking about getting dental implants to replace two missing teeth. I'm looking at various doctor's before and after photos, but I'm not sure what I should be looking for. Should there be pictures at multiple stages of the procedure? Pictures that include the gum line? Thanks for any expert tips.
Dental Implants Before and After Photos
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Before and after photos of dental implants
Photo galleries are helpful in demonstrating treatment options and achievable results. But as others have indicated, each person and tooth site has different characteristics and can have different results. The key is proper diagnostics and evaluation by the surgeon and your restorative dentist to determine the best treatment options and the risk or success factors that should be considered. Do take a look at their photos and ask which photos most resemble their clinical situation. Certain photos are more relevant than others and can help you learn more about the possibilities and what to expect.
Dental Implants, dental bridges, All-on-4
I think photos are great. You should ask to see close up photos of similar cases that the dentist has completed. The reason that I mentioned close up photos is that most photos look fine from a distance full face photo.
Close up photos and retracted cheek photos allow you to see the gum health, spacing, shading, and contours of the dental implants that have been restored especially if they are on the front teeth that show when smiling.
Dental implant dentistry is an art and science. There are many ways to perform and plan implant care and the type of implant makes a difference as well. I overview, photos are important and helpful and can give you an idea of the skill level of the implant dentist.
Dental Implants Before and After Photos
Your dentist should be able to supply several before and after photos of his or her own work. You should be able to see photos that show the gumline -- you can also find photos of the procedure.
I provided procedure photos for my dental implant case that is featured in The book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile... I also have some photos featured in the before and afters on the RealSelf website.
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Do Your Reasearch
If you are considering Dental Implants, All-on-4 Implants, or Teeth-in-1-Day there are some things you should know about the Dentist, Practice, or Surgeon performing the procedure.
How long has the Dentist or Practice been performing Dental Implant, Cosmetic, or Full-Mouth Reconstruction Procedures? ASK TO SEE THEIR CREDENTIALS!
2. BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES and VIDEOS
Does the Dentist or Practice have Before and After photos of Actual Patients? MANY DENTIST USE STOCK PHOTOS!
Can the Dentist or Practice put you in contact with their Patients, so you can personally ask questions about their experiences? ASK THE PATIENT SITTING NEXT TO YOU!
4. PEER REVIEWS
Look into the reputation of the Dentist or Practice, are they respected in the Dental Community? ASK FOR NAMES, GOOGLE™ THEM!
5. THE OFFICE & STAFF
Does the office have the latest technology, state-of-the art equipment, a professional staff, and an appealing ambience?
Dental implants before and after photos
Primary consult with the dentist usually involves discussion about steps of implant treatment and final results. Examples of clinical cases help the patient to understand what to expect at every step of treatment and in the end. Major criteria for implant crown is to look absolutely natural that it will be difficult to identify where is the implant. It should have natural emergence from the gum, be symmetrical to the opposite side, have proportional anatomy, color and level of the gingival tissue. Pictures with the smile and intra-oral view pre-, post-operatively give an idea of the quality of dental work, dentist`s concept of esthetics and harmony. Usually during the consult we prefer to avoid showing to the patient the photos of the actual surgical steps, only schematic or those that do not involve incisions, blood or sutures. In cases when the position of the missing teeth is questionable the diagnostic wax-up model is a helpful tool that shows the patient doctor`s expectation of the final result. After patient agrees to wax-up it is used to prepare surgical guide for exact position and depth of the implant. Before you make a decision either you want to pursue the treatment with the dentist you should ask all the questions regarding your treatment and feel confident with the answers. Open communication during the treatment will improve the final outcome for both patient and the doctor.
There's more to dental implants than pictures
I take close up pictures of implants in all situations. The emergence profile or contour of the gum around an implant is as important as the fit of the implant crown on the implant.
Most of the custom abutments that I place (part which attaches to the implant) are computer generated to create an ideal tissue contour and use either gold or zirconium.
Before and After Photos do not replace experience!
Most Implant and Cosmetic Dentists take thousands of photos and pick and choose the ones they show to patients. They will never show the cases that don't look ideal. Often the dentist that places the implant doesn't even do the final cosmetic work. A better way to determine the dentist's ability is to determine how much experience the individual has in placing and restoring implants. Not a bad idea to ask the dentist about the complications he or she has encountered during their career.
Remember that when you look at other people's work that it is not going to be the same as yours. Your gum line is diffrerent,the implants may be bigger or smaller than the pix and the area in which your implants are placed could be different. If you suffered bone loss before the implants were placed then it will be more difficult to make them look good cosmetically....
Before and after photos of dental implants may help understand the process
While knowing what the process involves may give you and understanding of what will be done, photos may only give part of the picture.
What exactly do you want to know? If it is simply the process, the Internet is full of pictures and instructions.
What might be more appropriate would be photos that are similar to your situation. For instance, if you have a low lip line (where your smile covers up your gums) then seeing photos of tissue around an implant may not matter to you.
Expectations of implants will vary depending on where the missing teeth (or tooth) are. Implants should restore function, but implants in the front (or "smile zone") should also blend in and look like a natural tooth with variable shades and surface texture.
Ask for photos that are of your doctors own work. This should demonstrate what should be expected from their office. Ultimately, it comes down to trust. You need to trust that your doctor is capable and caring for you.
Overall picture important for dental implants
What you should look for is the overall picture: you should not really be able to tell which one the implant crown is. The gingival (gum) margins should be even, and aligned with the other teeth. No metal should be visible.
Seeing the step by step procedure will not give you any insight, as every surgery is different as far as gum levels, bone grafting , implant positioning. Feel free to look at the pictures on my web site. Overall, I feel it is pretty difficult to assess a practice by before and after pictures, interviewing your surgical and restorative team is more valuable in my opinion.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.