I have a congenitally missing lateral incisor and a tooth right next to where it should be that is deformed. I’ve finally been able to afford braces to open up the space where the missing tooth should go. I have a dental flipper there for now while I decide on a permanent replacement. I’m hoping to fix both problem teeth at once. Do you have some recommendations for me?
I’m glad you wrote. When it comes to replacing a tooth, the top of the line replacement is a dental implant. This puts a prosthetic tooth root and then a dental crown. It’s the closest thing to having a healthy natural tooth. You’ll want to go to a dentist who has extensive training in both dental implants as well as cosmetic dentistry
First, dental implants are an advanced procedure and not one typically taught extensively, if at all, in most dental schools. A dentist will need to invest in post-doctoral training to know how to do them well. Because you are talking about a front tooth, that will be visible when you smile, you also want them to have additional training in cosmetic dentistry as well. It’s challenging enough to make a front tooth blend beautifully and naturally, but the dentist will also have to match it to an adjacent tooth that will have a completely different procedure done.
Which brings me to the deformed tooth. I haven’t seen an image of the specific tooth so I can just give general solutions here. In most cases, a porcelain veneer will be the best solution for a deformed tooth. One exception will be if it is extremely tiny. In that case, you may want a porcelain crown instead. The cosmetic dentist you choose will be able to give you a specific solution.
Finding a Dentist with the Right Expertise
You need a tall order in a dentist with advanced training in both cosmetic work and dental implants. I’m going to recommend you start with the cosmetic dentist and then check their dental implant training. Here’s how to do that. Go to the mynewsmile.com website and see who they recommend in your area for cosmetic work. This website screens dentists who want to be listed for both their training and their artistry. They cannot just pay to be listed.
Make a list of dentists they recommend. Then, go to their websites and look at the dentist’s bio. You’ll want to see that they’ve had training in dental implants from one of the following institutions:
- The Dawson Academy
- Pankey Institute
- The Seattle Center for Advanced Dental Study
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Study
If mynewmsile.com recommends them and they’ve studied at one of these schools you will be in safe hands for both procedures.
This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.