Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority
There are 12 anterior in the forward region of the mouth, six in the upper arch and six in the lower.
Using composites to restore these teeth is among the more demanding procedures in cosmetic dentistry due to the shaping and sculpting of composite material. Matching tooth color for anterior teeth that show every time patients smile also takes careful evaluation.
An anterior-posterior discrepancy is an imbalance between the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower). The problem that is generally first seen in children that receive good dental care is often referred to as an anterior cross-bite problem. It can be corrected either with braces or a permanent acrylic retainer.
Patients with missing anterior teeth that do not want removable dentures have two choices: Bridges or dental implants. Bridges are less expensive, but in order to install them, adjacent teeth must be ground down enough to accept the bridge. Bridges also put extra strain on the existing teeth and can sometimes compromise the vitality of these supporting teeth. Bridges usually will not last forever and may have to be repaired and or replaced.
Anterior dental implants can be placed by setting an implant into the bone of either the upper or low arch where the anterior tooth is missing. While the implant is fusing to the bone — a process that takes between six weeks to six months depending on the type of implant used — a temporary crown can be installed. Implants are not covered by most insurances so that is something to consider when making your choice.
Last updated: 12-May-05