Replacement of missing or lost tooth can be accomplished with a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture. However, in this day of age, dental implants have become mainstream in the treatment of replacing missing teeth. The main reason being that the dental implants have a significantly higher long-term success rate and do not involve other adjacent teeth compared to other means of treatment. Even though dental implants are dissimilar in many ways to natural dental roots that they replace and the management of soft and hard tissue that surrounds it can be challenging at times, dental implants are the closest to dental roots we have today. The following photographs show the use of dental implant in replacing a missing tooth.
This patient presented with an unrestored/virgin tooth that has been fractured down to the root. The cause of the vertical fracture has been determined in part due to continuous trauma from chewing ice. The tooth can no longer be restored and requires extraction for definitive treatment.
Since implant was to replace the lost tooth, immediate socket preservation for future implant site following extraction was essential and necessary. The immediate bone augmentation was carried out with membrane barrier to prevent soft tissue ingrowth into bony grafted site. Suture was placed to stabilize and secure the membrane barrier and grafted site. The grafted bone was left undisturbed and allowed to mature for four to six months prior to placement of implant. This procedure describes socket preservation/bone augmentation/ridge preservation that is commonly performed immediately following extraction of an unrestorable tooth with future implant as a definitive treatment.