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Lost a frontal tooth? Aesthetics isn’t the only problem you should worry about 

Regarding aesthetics, the lack of a single tooth in the frontal area is one of the most traumatic physical handicaps someone can face. The loss of self-confidence and self-esteem provokes these ashamed patients to stop smiling, with the inevitable consequence that their character changes drastically.

For a dentist, however, there are other factors that play a significant role: functionality and bone volume reduction may affect wellness to an extreme he or she might not even realize. Biting problems, headaches, mouth joint complications… The solution to this problem is a common procedure an expert performs quite often. ‘The sooner the patient decides for a procedure, the sooner these problems will be solved’, explains Victor Cubillo, Medical Director for Artedental, in Puerto de la Cruz. Conveying the patient confidence, expertise and counting on great laboratory work, clinical skills and materials are indispensable for successful results.

According to Cubillo, in case the only solution for a problematic piece in the frontal area is the extraction, and depending on each patient conditions, there are different possible treatments:

1. Removable prosthesis placement. The advantage related to this option is its economy, though aesthetics, and mainly comfortability, may not fit the patient’s demands.

2. Drilling adjacent pieces to create and place a ceramic bridge. The placement of this ceramic bridge fulfills patient’s requirements as it is a quite aesthetic solution, though it does not prevent bone reabsorption nor gingival recession in the long term.

3. Implant placement to replace the piece. A dental implant is the most aesthetic and functional option in the short and long terms. For favourable cases, the best option would be post-extraction implant placement and provisional immediate load. This procedure would require bone grafting. In this way, aesthetics, bone volume and gingival anatomy would be preserved, achieving natural aesthetics.

It’s really important exposing every option and complication to the patient, so he or she can finally choose the best option. The procedure for this last option implies surgery, though an expert should have the experience performing them almost every day. In Artedental for example, they have been working with dental implants over a decade ago. Expertise and skills should be in the patient’s mind at all times when deciding for this kind of solution.

Immediate load post-extraction implants have been largely described in literature. Different techniques have been developed. At the end, every technique´s goal is to replace the dental piece immediately after extraction, and at the same time minimize the bone loss but also maintain the soft tissue architecture surrounding the implant.

This soft tissue, specially the papilla, is the key factor for an aesthetic and satisfactory result.

Prosthetic skills the clinician must handle carefully in order to achieve a satisfactory and aesthetic result. As from the surgical part of the process; a correct diagnose and treatment plan are essential. To carefully choose not only the type of implant to be used and it´s correct 3D position, but also the right prosthetic materials are vital for the long term implant survival.

A skilled clinician, using the right materials and techniques is all the patient needs to face his/her fears about implants and surgery. With only one surgical act, someone may improve greatly the appearance and self-esteem.