I have four front teeth that need to be replaced. Actually, I’ve been wearing a removable partial denture, and I have a bridge, but I’m not satisfied with the way it looks. I’m 53 yrs old, single, and still very much concerned about my appearance. I want the four teeth to look beautiful and feel natural, so I’m going with four implants with crowns, but I have a few issues that need to be addressed so that the work looks natural. My gums show a lot when I smile, so I don’t want gums to overtake my crowns. I don’t want the crowns to have a metal foundation, because my gums are already too noticeable. I think some preparation of my gums is needed, although we haven’t discussed that. I don’t want a black line developing from the metal. On top of this, the dentist plans to put crowns on the teeth on either side of the front four, so that the color and size of the teeth will look their best. I’m not clear on the kind of crowns he plans to use, so I’ll have to discuss that with him before the work is done. Also, the dentist hasn’t mentioned it, but I know that my teeth need to be whitened before the work is done, so that the color of the crowns will match my whitened teeth. Have I left out any considerations? Thanks! – Eva T. South Bend, IN
Eva – It’s uncertain why the dentist would recommend two crowns on either side of the four implants, but if it’s for appearance, porcelain veneers may the best choice. An artistic prosthodontist can make them look like your natural teeth, and will discuss the veneers as the preference to crowns.
Also, you should be informed of what the dentist’s intentions are for shaping your gums and whitening your teeth.
Keep in mind that the dental implant is made of metal, so the key to getting natural-looking teeth is to have a cosmetic dentist who is proficient at permanently hiding the border between the implant and the crown, and at giving each crown—whether all-porcelain or all-ceramic—the correct color and translucency, so that it looks natural and beautiful.
Be cautious about asking your dentist for specific techniques that he might not be comfortable with. If a dentist has artistic inclination, he or she will be concerned about giving you a beautiful smile. He or she will readily address the issues of your adjusting your gumline, whitening your teeth and recommending porcelain veneers for your canine teeth.
Prosthodontists are specialists who have been trained to replace and restore teeth. Find a skilled prosthodontist who has an artistic eye for smile makeovers. Ask to see before-and-after pictures of smile makeovers that he or she has completed. You’ve mentioned that you want a beautiful, natural looking smile, and you’ll be delighted with it, if you find an artistic prosthodontist who can do it.
This post is sponsored by board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.