The New Method of Doing Full-Arch Implant Restorations
The critical aspect of the esthetics of a dental restoration is the shape of the gum tissue surrounding the tooth. The gum tissue is the “frame” for the tooth. The gum tissue is scalloped. The high point of the scallop is the “zenith.” The low point between the teeth is called the “papilla.” Our efforts in tooth-saving dentistry are to do everything possible to retain or recreate the zenith and the papilla.
When we extract a single tooth, we place an implant on the day of the extraction to retain the shape of the gum tissue. Attached to the implant, we fabricate a custom template that keeps the gum tissue from shrinking.
But what happens when we need to extract all the teeth? The ridge becomes flat. To create the correct esthetics, we generate a “gum-tissue-look” with acrylics or ceramics. The gum tissue simulations can look good, but not quite the real thing.
The question for years has been whether we can recreate the gum tissue scallop after tooth extraction. Today, the answer can be yes for many patients.
Bone and soft tissue grafting can accomplish more now than ever before. The temporary teeth made at implant placement can serve as a scaffold upon which we can design new gum and bone tissue. It may require up to three gum tissue plastic surgery procedures to get the result. Many can have regenerated gum tissues and eliminate the need for ceramic gum tissue.
How much can we reconstruct what you’ve lost? That depends on the thickness of your remaining bone and gum tissue. If you have a foundation to work with, we can enhance that foundation and make your smile look brighter and more natural than ever.
Lee N. Sheldon, DMD