Replacing a missing lateral incisor with a dental implant.

This digital smile makeover illustrates a case where a missing lateral incisor is replaced with a dental implant.

This type of treatment plan would be best suited for situations where the "missing" tooth is actually absent. In the case that the tooth is instead impacted (present but still buried within the jawbone), the most appropriate approach would involve guiding the tooth into place via the use of orthodontic treatment.

Case issues and concerns:

  • When you look at this "before" picture you can see that there is a space between teeth #'s 1 and 2. This is the position where this person should have a lateral incisor.
  • There is also a space between her two center teeth.
  • These spaces are related in the sense that the first one exists because this person is missing a permanent tooth (as confirmed by dental x-rays). The second exists because her central incisor has drifted into a portion of the area intended to hold the missing tooth.
  • The upper right eyetooth has a large area of tooth decay.
  • On the bottom, the teeth display alignment issues.
  • This smile is missing a lateral incisor.
    This smile is missing a lateral incisor. This smile is missing a lateral incisor.
  • After orthodontic treatment and implant placement.
    After orthodontic treatment and implant placement. After orthodontic treatment and implant placement.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

1) Some immediate tooth repair is required. -

This person's eyetooth (the tooth with big part missing) has a large cavity and needs immediate attention.

Its repair could probably be made by placing a white filling (dental bonding), if not, then a dental crown.

2) Orthodontic treatment will be needed. -

There simply isn't going to be any way to properly correct this smile without the use of orthodontic treatment (braces). Space needs to be opened up for a replacement lateral incisor. And the center gap needs to be closed. (Also shown in our "after picture, braces could be used to simultaneously correct the misalignment of the lower teeth.)

3) Placing a dental implant. -

Once the orthodontic treatment has been completed and space has been made available, a dental implant can be placed to replace the missing lateral incisor.

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Input from site visitors.

Crown instead

To fix a big cavity, wouldn't a dental crown be needed?

You're right. Where large

You're right. Where large portions of a tooth are missing, the strength and durability features of a dental crown often make placing one the best choice.

The surface of a crown is porcelain, and that can be hard to bond dental braces to. So possibly with this case, it might be best to place bonding now, and a dental crown after the orthodontic work has been completed.

This is simply an issue that the treating dentist needs to decide.


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