I Have 5 Missing Teeth, Anterior. I Have 3 Dental Implants Done. Is That Enough, Aesthetically? Durability?

My implants are not over yet. I am in the healing process. I was really concerned what will look like after. Originally the dentist wants 2 dental implants. I suggested 3. I am mostly concerned what will look like after.

Doctor Answers 5

I Like YOUR Choice

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Ideally when restoring an anterior case I like to place an implant in every other site.  If you are missing five teeth, three implants would be ideal.  If you have adequate soft tissue, by using this technique, your dentist will have the ability to develop a more natural appearing soft tissue profile where the teeth will appear to be growing out of the soft tissue with gum tissue filling the areas between the teeth. If  implants are placed side by side, it may be more difficult to deliver a highly esthetic result.  Be sure that a guide stent is used to ensure ideal positioning of the implants and that they are placed deep enough to develop the proper emergence from the gum.

Good Luck!!

Philadelphia Dentist

Proper Number of Dental Implants For Missing Teeth

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This case depends on whch teeth are actually missing, the amount of gum tissue you have, the thickness of tissue you have, the shape of your dental arch, smile line and your bite.  You are correct in that 3 implants will most likely be better than two, especially if you are having a bridge made for the prosthesis. Placement position of the implants is imperative.  One can have an entire arch of teeth placed on four implants, but requires a hybrid type of prosthesis for good prognosis. For an esthetic case as you describe, proper planned postion is what makes the case

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Are Three Dental Implants Enough To Rebuild My 5 Front Teeth?

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Rebuilding fron teeth with dental implants can be life changing!

Three implants is probably the right number, but it mostly depends upon where the implants are positioned. Dental implants have amazing strength, so that's not usually the problem. WIth front teeth the exact positioning of the implants can affect how well the gum fills in between the front teeth. If implants are too close, you may wind up with unnatural looking gums.

If the implants are already in, then at this point, just sit back and let things heal. You can start the conversation with your cosmetic dentist about how the gums will look and what it will take to make the front teeth look very natural.

It's entirely possible that you may need temporary abutments (the posts that connect to the implants) and temporary crowns or bridges. This is sometimes necessary when sculpting the gum line to get that natural curved outline. The temporary teeth will also give you a preview of what the final results may look like. This is a good conversation-starter about what you expect, what you are liking, and what you would want changed.

Other factors that affect dental implant success:

  • Do you clench or grind your teeth?
  • How solid are your other teeth?
  • Are you prone to gum disease?

The key to winding up with front teeth that you really like is good, continual conversation with your cosmetic dentist about what you want and what you should be expecting.

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Number of implants to restore a smile.

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There is a varying amount of literature about the appropriate number of implants to support teeth.  The answer is simple... it depends.  We can often rebuild an entire jaw on 4-6 implants.  There are key implant positions.  These are usually at the last teeth on either side being replaced, there is then a need to support in the middle.  if you are missing 5 teeth in the front of the mouth then 3 implants sounds reasonable, 2 would have been too few in my opinion.  That being said there is a definite bio-mechanical advantage to 5 implants, but aesthetics are generally more difficult with more implants as the tissue between the teeth becomes harder to form.  As for the final look, it really depends where your lip lies.  If when you smile you show a lot of gum this is going to be hard to make look natural no matter how many implants are involved, if your lip is rather low, you have little to worry about.

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Functional & Aesthetic Reconstruction in the Anterior Maxilla

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When planned and executed properly, 3 implants will suffice to create a functional and aesthetic restoration of the missing teeth.  Some critical factors that must be considered by your dentist and lab are:

1. Occlusion- the way your lower teeth will touch the implant teeth.  If nt done properly, this could lead to early failure of one or more of the implants.

2. Volume of gingival tissue

3. Zirconia(white) vs. Titanium(silver looking) abutments- this can affect how the restoration looks at the gum line.

4. Your smile line- is it high or low? Do you show a lot of gum tissue when you smile/ laugh??

5.  Use of pink porcelain- to camouflage any gum tissue deficiencies you may have.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the best.  

Giri Palaniswamy, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist

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.