After implants have integrated properly they are ready to be “loaded”. Often when implants are in an “esthetic zone” special temporaries are made that will help in shaping the gums to conform to the new teeth. These “UCLA” temporaries can be either made chair side by a dentist or custom made by a dental laboratory. They are screwed into the implants and can be kept in the mouth for one to six months or more. When the dentist feels that the gingival surrounding them is mature and stable, new fixture level impressions can be made that will allow the fabrication of custom abutments and implants crowns or bridges.
The photos below show a laboratory generated implant bridge that was placed by my associate to help with developing the gingival contours prior to her taking final impressions.
Although this process is time consuming and can be more costly for the patient, it does provide a more predictably esthetic restoration of a patients smile. It also provides the dentist, patient and laboratory technician with a “dress rehearsal” for the final restoration. If any changes are needed it is more easily communicated to the dental laboratory as well.