Uses for tooth implants in a smile makeover.

Sure, we were bored when we happened to run across this picture. But if Fluffy here was a human, this could be an example of a case where dental implants could be used, in various ways.

Case issues and concerns:

This poor kitten's smile has a number of problems, when all combined, makes her look old beyond her 7 years.

  • On top, we really don't think this kitty has any teeth at all.
  • On the bottom, it seems she's missing her back teeth.
  • Her lower incisors seem to show significant wear.
  • Her very long lower canines (eyeteeth) give her a wild, unruly look.
  • An upper denture candidate.
    An upper denture candidate. An upper denture candidate.
  • Digital makeover showing both upper and lower arches restored.
    Digital makeover showing both upper and lower arches restored. Digital makeover showing both upper and lower arches restored.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

1) The upper teeth.

On the top, probably the most cost-effective solution for replacing teeth would be a complete upper denture. This could be a traditional one or else one supported (held in place) by dental implants.

Traditional vs. Implant-supported complete dentures.

In most cases (ones where adequate jawbone shape exists), a traditional denture should suffice. The advantage an implant supported one would be the stability of the appliance. Rather than being held in place by suction, the denture would be anchored to implants imbedded in the jaw bone.

Since no suction is need, the denture could have an open palate. That means that the roof of the patient's mouth wouldn't be covered with plastic. (A feature most patients appreciate.)

An alternative approach.

Another option would be to replace the missing upper teeth using dental bridges supported by dental implants. This approach would be more expensive than a denture (it would require more implants and the bridgework would be more expensive than a denture too).

Only the treating dentist and patient, together, could choose between these two approaches. The cosmetic end result of either method, however, would be the same and very similar to what we show in this makeover's "after" picture.

2) The lower teeth.

  • We've simulated the placement of dental crowns on the bottom eyeteeth. (Making this type of drastic length change would necessitate performing root canal treatment first.)
  • It's possible that the change we've illustrated for the lower front teeth could be made by placing dental crowns. However, placing such tall crowns on such short nubs (or teeth with relatively short or small roots) often isn't possible.
  • If the lower front teeth can't be rebuilt with crowns, a very practical solution would be to extract them and then replace them, along with the missing lower back teeth, with a removable partial denture.
  • If the front teeth can be rebuilt with using crowns, the missing back teeth could still be replaced with a removable partial denture, or by placing implant-supported dental bridges.

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Input from site visitors.

Meow

kitty has no canines.

Funny. More precisely, Ms

Funny. More precisely, Ms Kitty does have canines (eyeteeth), they're just very short.

We always think of this case as an example of how the "perfect smile" can end up being a really fake look for many people.

A smile needs to be customized for the person who will be showing it. Teeth that are too white, too straight or too perfectly shaped often don't look right.


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