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Implant Process on #4, part 1 of 3

Today we are starting a short series on implant restoration to replace individual teeth. It consists of three parts, with part one including the loss of the patient’s original, natural tooth #4, which is a premolar on the upper right side.

The subject patient’s tooth #4 has been previously endodontically treated and fractured prior to crown placement.

#4 Restoration prior to fracture

The tooth had been built up and previously restored with a crown.

The following x-rays show the crowned tooth after a number of years, continued deterioration, and finally, a fracture.

#4 x-ray a number of years after restoration

#4 with significant deterioration

#4 fractured beyond repair

This restoration lasted for a number of years, but eventually fractured to the point of being non-restorable. The patient opted for an extraction with implant restoration.

The extraction was performed and bone graft material placed to improve bone structure prior to placing the implant and the extraction site was allowed to heal.

After #4 extraction, prior to implant placement

#4 space after extraction and healing

When the extraction site healed, an interim partial device was placed for aesthetics and space retention.

Interim partial device (sometimes called a flipper) for #4

Interim partial device (sometimes called a flipper) for #4


The arrow starts at #4 flipper

Interim partial in place with patient, the arrow starts at #4 flipper


The healing process after extraction and before implant placement varies by patient. Consult with your primary dentist and the implant specialist to determine more appropriately what will be needed for you.

The second blog post on implants will come out in October and will discuss implant placement, with the final post coming out before the end of the year, discussing implant restoration.

Note: These blog posts are specific to a particular patient and tooth and are not meant to be generalized over the entire implant process for all patients or implant options. Your situation will likely be different.