How The Look Of Your Gums Can Affect Your Dental Implant

There are many factors that need to combine in order for your dental implants be successful. A significant measure of that success is how natural the final result looks. Because an implant is surrounded by gingival (gum) tissue, sometimes an issue with a certain part of this tissue plays a considerable role in the aesthetics of your completed dental implant procedure. 

Bone and Gums

When a dental socket no longer has to support a tooth, the bone housing this socket (the alveolar ridge) can lose density, meaning that bone grafting can be a prerequisite for receiving an implant. This process doesn't exclusively affect the underlying bone. Rather, the effects can be visible on your gums, namely the gingival papillae, which is the small triangle-shaped piece of gum that fills the spaces between each tooth.

Lost Papillae

For patients who have been missing a tooth for an extended period of time, this papillae can deteriorate, and even disappear. This creates an obstacle in making the implant look like a natural tooth, which is largely the point of dental implants. An absent papillae can draw attention to the margin of the prosthetic dental crown that will serve as the tooth replacement—making the connection between the crown and the implant look rather obvious.

The Smile Zone

The state of your interdental papilla (which is the plural for papillae) is only an issue for implants that will be installed in the smile zone—the teeth that are displayed when you smile. These are your canines and incisors. Although your molars also have their own papilla, the absence of this tissue will not be visible, meaning that the margin of the crown isn't an issue. However, it can be a considerable issue for teeth in the smile zone.

Papilla Regeneration

The impact of absent papilla can only become evident when your implant and final prosthetic crown have been fitted. This means that any action will often be delayed until the implant has been finalized. When the implant doesn't look as natural as expected, this can be rectified with papilla regeneration. This involves a small amount of gingival tissue being grafted onto the site, before healing and taking on the appearance of the papillae that has been lost. 

Requiring papilla regeneration isn't the most convenient outcome when you need a dental implant, but the grafting procedure isn't particularly intensive, and can be essential to make your smile seamless.